Eli Roth ‘Thanksgiving’: Will It Ever Happen?

The planned Eli Roth Thanksgiving film has been in the rumor mill for so long that no one could blame you for giving up all hope.

If you went to theaters to see Grindhouse, the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez homage to exploitation films of the 70s, then you are well aware of the faux trailers.

While each effort was worthy of its own no-budget film, it was the Eli Roth Thanksgiving trailer that seemed the most fun. That’s because it played with early slasher movie conventions with a costumed killer, over-the-top kills, and a holiday theme.

Just try to watch the trampoline kill or the Thanksgiving dinner itself and try not to lose your turkey and stuffing.

As glorious as that trailer was for horror fans, a film just had to be imminent. And Roth has done an excellent job talking up the feature film version, but to date, nothing has happened.

The last mention of Thanksgiving came in a February 2014 report from ScreenRant, in which Roth said that he planned to sit down with a writing partner and “bang out a script” in September of this year.

“I’ve been working on the script with my co-writer, Jeff Rendell, who plays the pilgrim in the trailer,” Roth said. “And it’s me imitating Jeff’s voice [for the narration]. But Jeff has been working. I said that his deal is he has to work on the script while I’m promoting The Last Exorcism, and as soon as I’m done in mid-September he’s going to fly to California, we’re going to sit down, and bang out the script.

Assuming this is a priority for Roth and not just wishful thinking, the script should be done by now; but where are the announcements?

Fans have waited a long time to see what comes next and Roth’s IMDb page is not spilling the details. Currently, Thanksgiving is marked simply as “in development,” which means no further details are available.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to take any of Roth’s reassurances seriously. He was supposedly fast-tracking this film in 2012 when he spoke to Collider.

“Dude, it’s gonna happen. I’m working with the CLOWN writers on it. We have a call scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Jeff Rundell, my co-writer and I have a very extensive treatment. We finally cracked the story and how to make it really really scary, and the reason to do it, and I’m really excited about it. So the CLOWN script was one of the best scripts I’ve ever read, and we’re like ‘before Jon [Watts] shoots CLOWN, he has a window.’ Chris Ford, who’s movie ROBOT & FRANK just opened… Chris and John are going to write the screenplay with me and my partner Jeff, so we’ll have a screenplay soon.”

At this pace, it could be 2017 before we see anything for a film that, for all practical purposes, should take a couple of weeks to film and a few more to edit. After all, this isn’t intended for Oscar season. It’s a slasher film.

Do you think the Eli Roth Thanksgiving film will ever happen?