Fran Kranz will star in the directorial debut of Gillian Greene-Raimi, Murder of a Cat

There is so much exciting news involved in this story that I'll just give it to you bit by bit: Sam Raimi is producing a movie called Murder of a Cat, which is about a guy who discovers that his recently deceased cat was leading a double life with another owner. That guy will be played by Fran Kranz, who was most recently seen in that other amazing Joss Whedon movie released this year, The Cabin in the Woods. As if this couldn't get any more fun, he will be directed by Gillian Greene-Raimi, wife of Sam, making her debut as a feature director. This movie was made for the geekiest faction of the internet. This movie was made...for us.

One of the things I distinctly remember after seeing Cabin in the Woods was discussing with my friend the fate of the actors who had to wait three years for this movie to be released and didn't get to reap the benefits of this movie for all that time. Obviously, Chris Hemsworth turned out okay. But one of the standouts in that movie was easily Fran Kranz, who had honed his genre dramedy craft (say it out loud -- you'll sound totally drunk) with Whedon on Dollhouse and was set to appear as Claudio in his stealth production of Much Ado About Nothing. And while he was certainly working in the years following Cabin in the Woods, my friend and I were left wondering if this really funny and talented actor had missed some Titanic-sized boat of opportunity when that movie was shelved. What parts could Cabin in the Woods have gotten Kranz had it been released when it was supposed to, in 2010? The world will never know.

But now, as if the entertainment gods had actually been planning this all along, he will go from a movie on par with the horror comedy classic The Evil Dead to a project being produced by one of that movie's creators. And it sounds like a very cool project, indeed. Here is a summary of the script by Christian Magalhars and Robert Snow, which had made it onto the 2010 Black List of unproduced screenplays just waiting to be picked up:

A hapless 28-year-old eccentric [Kranz] vows justice when he finds his beloved cat shot dead with a crossbow arrow. After some sleuthing, he is shocked to discover that his cat was living a double life with a mysterious young woman. Forced into an awkward partnership, the two cat owners must embark on an epic suburban murder mystery that leads them to a conspiracy far greater than they ever imagined.

Kranz will be replacing Jay Baruchel, and will appear alongside the great and powerful Raimi Spider-Man staple J.K. Simmons as well as Dianne Wiest. It will be produced and distributed through Lionsgate.

But what better people to attach themselves to this script than the Raimis? The Raimis!!! As far as I'm concerned, anything resembling a dark horror comedy will benefit from the Raimi touch, and now, we've got two Raimis. That's double the Raimis! But it also means that right smack in the middle of a Raimi-Whedon Venn diagram is Fran Kranz. The entertainment gods will be pleased.

'Cabin in the Woods' star Fran Kranz will solve Raimi-produced 'Murder of a Cat' [The Film Stage]


  1. Aw, fiddlesticks.  The Evil Dead is no “horror comedy classic.”  Evil Dead 2 is.

    Otherwise, carry on.

  2. This does actually sound very good, and I enjoyed Fran on Dollhouse, but is there anyone else who really did not think Cabin the Woods was that impressive or particularly smart? Anyone?

    1. I drooled once, and gave standing applause twice during the film. So,  I am sad to admit that I’m not in your corner on this one. However, I also think that John Carpenter is one the top five American filmmakers, ever. Hey, there’s no accounting for taste.

      1. I haven’t seen Cabin In The Woods yet (in fact I skipped half this post for fear of spoilers) but I’m going to side with it being good based on your love of Carpenter. And I can’t imagine someone would devalue the opinion of another who held him in high regard.

        1.  I seriously think Carpenter’s masterful and fastidious craftsmanship is not noticed simply because he chose to work within the (very american) horror/scifi/exploitation genres. His art direction, cinematography, and approach to dialogue are formidably top-shelf. His semiotics are mutli-scaled and as tight as any pure ‘symbolist’ (aka Jodorowsy), yet cohere to narrative by being consistent in his presentation. But again, most of my friends ‘glaze over’ when I point any of this out. Haha!
               Back to topic: I liked how Fran presented his character in TCITW, and the plot to this film reeks of Dirk Gently, so I am waiting with ‘baited’ breath.

          1. Carpenter is good indeed, and sometimes great.  I used to get a bit irritated about his chronic habit of taking a possessory credit (John Carpenter’s Vampire$, John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars, John Carpenter’s The Thing, etc.), since I’ve always felt that film is a far more collaborative artform than such a credit would imply, but I do really enjoy his work.  He’s said, “In France, I’m an auteur; in Germany, a filmmaker; in Britain, a genre film director; and, in the USA, a bum.”  That about sums it up.

            Oh, and TCITW rocks.  All my Carpenterphile friends think so, come to think of it.

    2. I repeated my mistake of confusing it with Cabin Fever by Eli Roth; a movie which I loathe except for two scenes. 

      Otherwise I haven’t seen it.

    3. I thought it was alright.  The problem was that Joss Whedon would do this sort of thing in his tv shows, i.e. each episode was gradually leading up to an apocalyptic season finale.  Well, that was true of Buffy 3,5,7; Angel 4,5 and Dollhouse 2.  This time, he crammed it all into a 90-minute movie.  It was cool to see all the monsters pop up, but he totally killed any sense of suspense. 

    4.  It wasn’t a staggering work of cinematic genius, but I found it tremendously enjoyable, aided by a funny script, good actors and plenty of entertaining visuals.

  3. This does sound promising. Although I like Jay Baruchel, I would be even more interested in that version. Between this and the Michael J Nelson interview Jamie Frevele has become my favorite BB poster.

    1.  I just don’t see Maru with a Samurai sword, perhaps he’s a Sumo at heart, one with a love of pratfalls?

  4. and now, we’ve got two Raimis. That’s double the Raimis!

    Unless you can think of a Sam Raimi movie that doesn’t have Ted in it, I think I’m going to have to correct your math.

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