We are getting a flurry of activity surrounding Jeremy Saulnier’s upcoming Alaskan thriller, Hold The Dark. A few new images were released in the past week. Some show Alexander Skarsgård as Vernon Sloane, an Alaskan native who has been serving in the military overseas until recently. Other images feature Jeffrey Wright as wolf expert Russell Core. Russell is called to the remote town of Keelut after Vernon’s son (being portrayed by Beckham Crawford) goes missing.

 

Although the movie missed out on its Cannes debut earlier this year due to the festival’s ongoing feud with Netflix, they will get a chance to debut at TIFF later this year. Hold the Dark will debut on the streaming service after its festival premiere. This movie features a lot of firsts for director Jeremy Saulnier  – his first film without a color in the title (he previously wrote and directed Blue Ruin and Green Room), his first time debuting a film on Netflix, and the first that is adapted from another work. The film is based on the novel by William Giraldi.

The novel intertwines fate, family, and revenge in the remote Alaskan wilderness. When a child is taken from his village by a pack of wolves, an expert hunter is summoned to track and destroy them. His mission leads him down an increasingly dark and shocking path as he confronts the cruelty of nature and his own failures as a man. He must face both the harsh terrain and the boy’s grief-stricken parents; with his father posing as serious a threat as the wolves he’s tracking.

It also presents a first for Saulnier that horror fans are sure to love  – his highest body count to date! In an interview with EW, he revealed the following about the grueling shoot:
Oh, man, it was completely insane. It was great, we had just enough to get it done, but we were punching way above our weight class as far as the scope and scale of this film. I also was able to experiment with many new things, the challenges of many firsts. Not only did it have the most intense dialogue, and also the highest body count, it had a first war scene, it had an aerial sequence, and by far the most animals I’ve worked with.
One thing that won’t be changing from his earlier films is his tense and claustrophobic take on thrillers, a style which seems like it will mesh well with the subject matter of Hold the Dark. He’ll also be working again with long time collaborator Macon Blair. Keeping himself busy, he will also be directing some episodes of season 3 of  HBO’s True Detective, though he stepped back somewhat from that project to focus on this film.
If you aren’t lucky enough to make it to the Toronto International Film Festival, you can catch the movie when it streams on September 28th. Have you read the novel and love the casting? Hate the casting? Have an opinion about the increasing domination of streaming services like Netflix? Why not sound off in our Facebook group or on Twitter?
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