Fans of Adam Nevill’s (‘Last Days‘) 2012 release of ‘The Ritual’ are going to be thrilled to hear that the novel is getting a cinematic adaptation. We know that Andy Serkis (‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’,’The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’) is on board as the Executive Producer and the film is being directed by David Bruckner (‘V/H/S’,’The Signal’) based off of a script by Joe Barton (‘iBoy’,’Humans’.) Behind the scenes, eOne has fully financed and helped produce it as they will be distributing it in UK, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, Spain, and Benelux. US distribution is set to be decided during the European Film Market.
This is very much a novel that is a disturbing read for all the right reasons. Nevill has often been compared to Stephen King and this was probably his one work I felt was absolutely justified to see that comparison. We’re not talking the modern King either but his work at his peak of writing moody horror.
In the film we’ll be following four old university friends on a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness following the death of their best friend. When a wrong turn leads them into the ancient forests of Norse legend, they encounter an evil force.
These four friends are set to be played by Rafe Spall (‘Prometheus’,’Shaun of the Dead’), Sam Troughton (‘AVP: Alien vs. Predator’,’Robin Hood’), Arsher Ali, and Robert James-Collier (‘Downton Abbey’). Filming is already been completed and is in post-production so we’ll be seeing quite a bit more about it in the upcoming months.
According to Nevill:
“For me, this novel was a conscious tribute to the horror film, and an attempt to replicate parts of its effects in print. I wrote it for myself (my Dad and Hugh [Simmons] were the only potential readers back in 2008), and I wrote it without a deadline or a publisher. Two months shy of seven years after I completed the book, THE RITUAL is officially becoming a film.”
Clearly, this was something beyond his wildest dreams and the premise is great. Honestly, the initial details about the film are a little vague though so I’ll share the novel synopsis below to help flesh it out a little:
When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn’t possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artifacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. As the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees . . .
Are you looking forward to seeing ‘The Ritual’ when it is released? Share your thoughts below!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!