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SXSW 2012: Hollywood Comes to Play at 'Cabin in the Woods,' Opening Night Parties

Drew Goddard, Joss Whedon, Todd Rohal, Mark Duplass among those celebrating the starts of SXSW around downtown Austin.

Anna Hutchison - P 2012
Anna Hutchison

After the film’s opening-night premiere Friday, the Cabin in the Woods cast and filmmakers hung out at a cocktail party at the Speakeasy on Congress Ave. hosted by Lionsgate.

Bradley Whitford took compliments for coining the phrase “ballerina dentata” during the post-screening Q&A (you’ll just have to see the movie to get the reference), while Goddard and Whedon chatted with fans. They both ticked off Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films and other early ‘80s milestones from John Carpenter and Wes Craven as favorite movies they wink at in their film. Goddard also threw Dario Argento’s 1977 Suspiria into the mix, as well as more recent creepers such as The Strangers. Whedon admitted that he is also a fan of Craven’s Scream, in which horror receives the meta treatment much as it does in Cabin.

Goddard’s next project is a little film called Robopocalypse that Steven Spielberg is prepping for a July shoot for Amblin/DreamWorks/Disney. Pre-production is already underway, and though Goddard, who penned the adaptation, wouldn’t detail specifics, he said the stuff Spielberg is coming up with in the pre-visualization stage is incredible. (The film, which is about the aftermath of a robot uprising, has a July 2013 release date.) Beyond that, Goddard says he’s working on an original screenplay but otherwise isn’t sure what’s next after promoting Cabin.

Whedon, on the other hand, is pushing out Cabin even as he’s cutting both his Much Ado About Nothing adaptation and The Avengers in time for its early May release. In Your Eyes, which he wrote, is filming, and he’s also helping to promote Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope, to which he contributed. “I get a little stressed,” Whedon admitted.

A high-energy New Zealander, Anna Hutchison, who plays the randy Jules in Cabin, was glowing from the experience of working on the film. In it, she… she, uh… well, she does some things and some things are done to her. In any case, despite the unpleasantness of some of them, Hutchison crowed, “I can’t wait for my family to see this. It’s so cool!”

Apparently game for pretty much anything, she wasn’t deterred by the part in the script where her character makes out with a stuffed wolf’s head. She says the prop guys coated the wolf’s tongue with sugar, so she actually got into it more than anyone expected, with co-stars reactions captured on-screen. The sugar also kept her hopping for the later scene where she dances seductively in front of the fireplace. “I was rarin’ to go,” Hutchison says. “I could have danced all night.”

She’s currently filming a movie that takes place in the world of Australian Rules Football called Blinder back in Australia before she comes back to L.A. in late April to look for more work.

Later on, badge holders, organizers, programmers, agents, filmmakers and press made their way to the annual opening-night party at Buffalo Billiards. Directors Todd Rohal and Mark Duplass, whose Nature Calls and Do-Deca-Pentathlon, respectively, are playing in the Narrative Spotlight section, wandered through with Do-Deca-Pentathlon actress Jennifer Lafleur, who also appeared in the Duplass brothers’ Baghead.

Duplass pointed out that this most recent effort was actually shot four years ago only to be sidelined when Cyrus was greenlighted at Fox Searchlight followed by Jeff Who Lives at Home at Paramount Vantage (the latter comes out March 16). He said he and his brother Jay are just happy to finally have it showing, though LaFleur then made a show of looking at her watch with a raised eyebrow.