Two feel 'Cabin' pressure


Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are moving to "The Cabin in the Woods."

Jenkins is on board and Whitford is in final negotiations to star in the mystery-shrouded MGM/UA horror project written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, who also is directing. Whedon is producing.

Much like "Cloverfield," which Goddard scripted, the "Cabin" story line provides a new twist on a classic scenario — in this case the young-people-stranded-in-the-woods horror trope.

"It's really just your basic typecasting: When you need two actors to run through the woods in low-cut nighties, you immediately think of Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford," Goddard joked.

Whedon said the casting signals what kind of movie they are hoping to make. "They're the first proof that though 'The Cabin in the Woods' is a classic horror film, it isn't one you've seen before."

While the studio and filmmakers were loath to provide character details, it is understood that Jenkins and Whitford will play white-collar co-workers with a mysterious connection to the cabin.

The UA production is prepping for a spring shoot and will open wide Feb. 5, 2010, with MGM distributing.

MGM, which Worldwide Motion Picture Group chairman Mary Parent spent much of 2008 rebuilding, has a lot riding on Whedon and Goddard's genre effort. It will be — after the planned September opening of the studio's "Fame" revamp — only the second homegrown production of the recharged Parent regime.

Gersh-repped Jenkins is riding high on his SAG and Film Independent Spirit awards noms for "The Visitor." He most recently was seen in "Burn After Reading" and "Step Brothers." He is additionally repped by Bill Treusch.

Whitford, repped by Endeavor and Greenlight Management, most recently appeared in "Bottle Shock" and "An American Crime."

Borys Kit reported from Los Angeles; Jay A. Fernandez reported from Park City.