We’ve had a great many shark movies over the years following the success of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, but we haven’t had nearly as many alligator movies (for whatever reason). But we are getting a new entry in that creature feature sub-genre in the form of The Bayou, which is coming courtesy of the folks at Tea Shop and Architect, per Deadline. Of note, Tea Shop is responsible for the rather successful shark flick 47 Meters Down, as well as the knuckle-biting thriller Fall. Now? It’s gator time in the swamps of Louisiana.
Matthew Ninaber (Death Valley) is set to direct the film, written by Gavin Mehrtens, working from a story by Ashley Holberry. Mark Lane and James Harris are on board to produce the film alongside Mehrtens and Holberry. The film is being presented to buyers at the Cannes Film Market, with filming set to begin later this year. As for the specifics of the story? The synopsis reads as follows:
“The movie…crash-lands a group of friends in the water-logged, inhospitable Louisiana swamplands where they’re hunted by a fearsome, primordial apex predator. Megan Best (Seance) leads the unfortunate survivors, out of their depth, who are picked off one-by-one by a relentless pack of gators, led by a ferocious alpha female.”
This sounds like an entertaining premise, to be certain. Gators can make for great creature-feature fodder, and they are arguably underutilized. We can go back to 1980’s Alligator as evidence that these fierce predators are worthy of the cinematic spotlight. Let us also not forget director Alexandre Aja’s extremely fun 2019 flick Crawl, which Sam Raimi produced. There are also movies like Lake Placid or the underseen Rogue from 2007. Beyond that, we’re really scraping the barrel. Let’s cross our fingers that this proves to be a welcome addition to the alligator movie canon. Calum Gray of Architect had this to say about it:
“The Bayou is a thrilling, no-holds-barred, white knuckle ride that will keep today’s audiences wholly immersed and on the edge of their seats. The movie has a whole heap of tricks up its sleeve and will delight audiences with its ingenuity and fresh take on the survival genre. We’re delighted to be jumping on this excellent rollercoaster with Gavin, Ashley and the Tea Shop team!”
The Bayou does not currently have a release date, but sometime in 2024 seems likely. Stay tuned.