It is always exciting when a critically acclaimed director returns to the chair. There’s little doubt that Drew Goddard would qualify under this category, as his work still holds relevance today. It’s been 6 long years since Goddard burst onto the scene with “Cabin in the Woods” in 2012. Even sadder is that “Cabin” suffered incredible delays itself. In the interim, Goodard picked up an Oscar nomination for writing “The Martian,” helped save “World War Z” and flirted with Marvel on various “Daredevil” and Spider-Man projects. Not a shabby resume, but Goddard is too talented to not be in the director’s chair. That’s just part of what makes “Bad Times at the El Royale” such an appealing project.
The new trailer looks like we’re in for some great genre fun. Goddard’s wittiness is all over this screenplay. The ensemble looks to have a ton of fun in this film, with potential breakthrough roles for several members of the cast. Actors Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm and Dakota Johnson are all on their A-game. Bridges recalls many of his grumpier roles, including his Oscar-nominated “Hell or High Water” performance. Hamm seems closer to “Mad Men” than “Baby Driver.” Johnson and Hemsworth, on the other hand, are way out of type. Johnson continues her career redefinition in the “Fifty Shades” afterglow. Hemsworth looks absolutely delightful.
There are several other actors that are of note in the cast though. Cynthia Erivo is set for a breakout year in 2018, with “Widows” releasing later this year. Erivo appears to be in strong form for “Bad Times,” which could help her make the case for breakout rewards. Lewis Pullman seems primed to be a star, and the supporting role here helps that case. Cailey Spaeney, Nick Offerman, and others make this the genre film to watch. Watch out, it looks like Goddard is just getting started.