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Cobweb - Everything You Need To Know

The summer movie season is in full swing. And even amongst the bevy of big-budget blockbusters and anticipated releases, there is still plenty of room for chills and thrills. Thankfully for horror fans, there's no shortage of spine-tingling offerings this season. From horror comedies like "The Blackening" and "Haunted Mansion" to more straightforward ventures like "Insidious: The Red Door" and "Sympathy for the Devil," the genre seems to be in good hands. Amongst the releases with the most potential is the upcoming horror flick "Cobweb." 

The film's top-notch cast, promising director, and unique team of producers are sure to elevate its already ominous premise that centers on a young boy uncovering some sinister secrets that his parents have been hiding from him. As the first trailer for the original horror film has recently been released by Lionsgate, we finally have our first peek into what the film has to offer. With that, it's time we dive into everything we know so far about "Cobweb." 

When will Cobweb be released?

"Cobweb" is slated for release on July 21, 2023. The film will have a limited release in theaters at this time, and it remains unknown if it will expand to more theaters afterwards or go straight to a streamer. Given the month's other major releases — including Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" and Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer" – it will be a tall task getting the attention of audiences. 

The project itself had been simmering for some time. In 2018, the film's screenplay written by Chris Thomas Devlin made it onto both the Bloodlist and Blacklist. The film would be announced in May 2020, with director Samuel Bodin and producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg attached to the Lionsgate release. Filming for "Cobweb" began in September 2020, taking place in Sofia, Bulgaria. Production moved to the Bulgarian studio, Nu Boyana Film Studios, in November, given the country's safer approach to filming during the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to the United States.

What is the plot of Cobweb?

According to the description from Lionsgate, the plot of "Cobweb" involves a young boy named Peter (Woody Norman) who begins noticing strange sounds emanating from the walls in his bedroom. At first, he is made to believe that the repetitive tapping noises and his following nightmares are all in his head. However, as the situation grows more intense, Peter begins suspecting that his parents might just be hiding a sinister secret that will put his trust in them to the test. 

From the looks of it, "Cobweb" has the makings of a spine-tingling story. It can be argued that placing children in horror movies is an easy way out of pulling on audiences' emotions, but when done right, they can craft some of the most captivating entries in the genre. Films such as "Poltergeist," "The Exorcist," "The Shining," and "Coraline" are just a few titles that have managed to make this concept work in their favor. As "Cobweb" aims to explore the deteriorating relationship between a child and their parents, it could easily join that list. 

Who is starring in Cobweb?

Starring in the lead role of Peter in "Cobweb" is actor Woody Norman. Norman has worked alongside some major talents, such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Dominic West, in the 2017's "The Current War" and 2019's BBC "Les Misérables" miniseries, respectively. His breakout role came in the 2021 A24 feature, "C'mon, C'mon," where he starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix as the lovable Jesse. Norman's performance earned him both a BAFTA and Critics Choice Award nomination. He is also slated to appear in the upcoming Russo Brothers-directed science fiction film, "The Electric State." 

Peter's parents, Carol and Mark, will be played by actors Lizzy Caplan and Antony Starr respectively. Caplan first starred in four episodes of "Freaks and Geeks" before garnering attention as Janis Ian in the 2004 cult teen comedy, "Mean Girls." Her later credits include such projects as "Cloverfield," "Hot Tub Time Machine," "127 Hours," and "Masters of Sex." Starr is perhaps best known for his longtime dual role as Jethro and Van West in the New Zealand series, "Outrageous Fortune," and for his role as the villainous Homelander in Amazon Prime's "The Boys." 

The last major name on the cast is "Infinity Pool" and "Dopesick" star Cleopatra Coleman, who is slated to play Miss Devine in "Cobweb." All four main stars were announced as part of the cast in September 2020.

Who is directing Cobweb?

"Cobweb" is set to be helmed by French director Samuel Bodin, who has been attached to the project since its announcement in May 2020. The film will act as Bodin's feature directorial debut, having worked as a writer and director in television, short films, and music videos since 2008. From 2008 to 2009, he created four different shorts, including the noir-inspired Batman fan film, "Batman: Ashes to Ashes."

Bodin's first foray into television was in the 2013 series, "Lazy Company," where he directed and co-wrote all 31 episodes of the war comedy series. Perhaps his best-known work came in 2019 with the Netflix French horror series, "Marianne," which was created, directed, and co-written by Bodin. The show, which centers on a horror novelist (Victoire Du Bois) discovering that the characters from her stories exist in the real world, received great praise, scoring a 94% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes and even getting the approval of horror legend Stephen King. The series didn't last long, however, as it was canceled in January 2020 after only one season.

Who is writing and producing Cobweb?

The screenplay for "Cobweb" was written by screenwriter Chris Thomas Devlin, who has more than a little love for the horror genre. After his "Cobweb" script was included on the 2018 Bloodlist and Blacklist, Devlin was tapped in 2019 to write the screenplay for "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," the 2022 follow-up to the 1974 horror classic, which ignored all other franchise installments. The writer is continuing his collaboration with Lionsgate and Seth Rogen, who picked up Devlin's original screenplay, "Video Nasty," in November 2020.

The film's producing team includes Meredith Wieck and Jim Miller for Lionsgate and Roy Lee, Jon Berg, and Andrew Childs under Vertigo Entertainment. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, and Josh Fagen will be producing under Point Grey Pictures. Despite having been a prominent name in the entertainment field for nearly two decades, "Cobweb" will be Rogen and his company's first foray into the horror genre. This kind of collaboration is nothing new for Lionsgate, however, as the studio has previously worked with comedy talents like Danny McBride in writing and producing the recent "Halloween" trilogy, while Chris Rock also starred in the 2022 "Saw" spin-off, "Spiral."

Is there a trailer for Cobweb?

A trailer for "Cobweb" was released on June 14. The two-minute trailer paints a solid picture of what the chilling tale has in store. Things start off as we see Peter being woken up at night by tapping noises coming from the wall in his bedroom. He is jolted awake and lands in his mother's arms, who comforts him by saying it was only a nightmare. 

Things don't get any easier for the child, however, as the noises intensify. Despite his parents continuing to deny the threat, it becomes clear that Peter's situation is not getting better as he begins to paint distressing drawings, which causes concern from his teacher, Miss Devine. Eventually, it becomes apparent that something dreadful is going on and that Peter's parents are not being upfront about what is happening. Peter comes across a multitude of these oddities, including a small door on the wall that he manages to unlock and a skull amongst a field of pumpkins. 

It will certainly be interesting to see what else the child discovers and how he makes it out of this nightmare alive. But rest assured, it will be something you won't want to miss when "Cobweb" hits theaters.

What is Cobweb rated?

If you were hoping to take the whole family to see "Cobweb," that probably isn't the best idea. First, the messed-up dynamic between Peter and his parents will probably cause your kids to question everything you say to them. Secondly, "Cobweb" looks pretty freaky, and it's been branded with an R rating.

Why's that, you ask? Well, if you've been paying super close attention to the film's marketing, you may have noticed that "Cobweb" is a horror movie. If you managed to pick up on that little detail, then you won't be surprised to learn that the film is rated R thanks to "horror violence and some language." A horror movie with horror violence? We're shocked — shocked. In all seriousness, with a child as the lead, the idea of horror violence does sound especially upsetting, so "Cobweb" is probably best for older audiences.