Joe Dante on the set of The Hole.
© Big Air
Joe Dante, the modern "master of horror" (see his episodes "Homecoming" and "The Screwfly Solution" of the TV show of the same name) who directed genre touchstone pics Piranha, The Howling and the two Gremlins movies, has since 1990 focused on more family-friendly fare like Small Soldiers, Matinee, Looney Tunes: Back in Action and this year's PG-13 young adult horror flick The Hole. But good news, horror fans: he's now reportedly signed up for his first feature-length "adult" horror/suspense outing in over two decades (He's recently directed sequences in the horror anthologies Trapped Ashes and the upcoming Paris I'll Kill You.) with a movie called Air Disturbance.
The film, which begins shooting in late November, is set aboard a flight from Los Angeles to Toronto on which "strange atmospheric conditions" begin to occur. Dylan Walsh (The Stepfather) stars as a widowed father of two on the flight who "protects his children and his psychic girlfriend from some of the other passengers, particularly a fanatical minister (Robert Englund) who believes that the supernatural phenomena could be a sign from God." Sounds a bit like The Mist on a plane to me.
If I thought Air Disturbance would get a wide theatrical release, I would wonder how it would be impacted by the scares-on-a-plane flick 7500 -- which may release around the same time in 2013 -- but odds are Dante's movie will either be a limited release or go straight to video, as has been his track record of late (as well as those of Englund and the distributor New Films International, whose recent genre fare includes Chain Letter, Camp Hell and Dead Awake).