Leighton Meester, Taran Killam, and Adam Brody are joining forces for a brand new project. The Single Parents alums will star in a remake of 1994’s The River Wild which is currently in production in Hungary. The adventure film will be directed by Ben Ketai, who previously worked with Brody on the drama series StartUp. He also co-authored the script with Mike Nguyen Le. Produced by Ogden Gavanski, the project is a Universal 1440 Entertainment production and will be distributed by Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.
Echoing the original, the story follows a brother and sister who go on a whitewater rafting trip with a small group. As they embark on the adventure, they start to question the intentions of their oldest friend who is more dangerous than he seems. Leighton Meester and Taran Killam will star as the siblings with a strained relationship, and Adam Brody appears as their childhood companion. While the film has been dubbed a reboot by several media outlets, studio executives are calling it a new The River Wild story set in the “universe” of the original.
As such, the standalone Leighton Meester starrer simply takes place in a contemporary setting. Directed by Curtis Hanson from a script by Denis O’Neill, the original story focused on a family who encounters two violent criminals while on a whitewater rafting trip. The thriller featured a stellar cast including Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn, John C. Reilly, Benjamin Bratt, and Joseph Mazzello. Following its release, the movie raked in approximately $94 million at the global box office, with Streep and Bacon earning Golden Globe nominations for their performances.
Speaking about The River Wild, Glenn Ross, who serves as General Manager and Executive Vice President at Universal 1440 Entertainment, said the studio is excited to announce the thrilling new project, with fresh characters and a story that brings the universe to new audiences, and fans of the original. He also told Deadline that the production features a talented cast (Leighton Meester, Taran Killam, and Adam Brody), and that movie lovers will be excited by director Ben Ketai’s modern take on the popular Meryl Streep classic. The movie will debut on non-theatrical platforms worldwide in 2023.
Following her time on Gossip Girl, Leighton Meester has maintained a strong presence in Hollywood. The 36-year-old has been seen in several popular series, including The Orville, How I Met Your Father, and more. She also has an impressive list of film credits like The Judge, Country Strong, Going the Distance, and Date Night. Most recently, she starred in the Netflix thriller, The Weekend Away, and will be lending her voice to the streamer’s upcoming animated feature My Father’s Dragon, from Cartoon Saloon’s Nora Twomey.
Leighton Meester’s The River Wild co-star (and husband) Adam Brody also has a voice role in My Father’s Dragon and will reprise his role as Super Hero Freddy for Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The actor will also star in the FX miniseries Fleishman Is in Trouble. Best known for his work as Seth Cohen on the popular drama series The O.C, Brody’s other recent movie credits include Promising Young Woman, Jay and, Silent Bob Reboot, and Ready or Not.