Stephen Williams, whose directing credits include episodes of Watchmen, The Walking Dead, Lost, and more, is set to helm Universal’s new monster movie Don’t Go in the Water. There are zero plot details at the moment, but it’s safe to assume from the monster movie distinction and the title that this is going to be some sort of aquatic horror movie – and we could always use more of those.
Variety has the scoop on Don’t Go in the Water, described simply as a “suspenseful monster movie” from director Stephen Williams. Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy is producing, along with Dan Levine for 21 Laps Entertainment, while Adam Kolbrenner will produce for Lit Entertainment Group. Adam Rodin is executive producing.
Williams directed two Watchmen episodes – “She Was Killed by Space Junk”, which featured the now-infamous giant Dr. Manhattan dildo, and “This Extraordinary Being”, one of the most memorable episodes of the series, in which Regina King’s Angela relives her grandfather’s memories via a drug trip. That episode was highly renowned for its unique visual style, so it’s great to see Williams branch out into a big movie. Save for 1995’s Soul Survivor, all his other credits are in TV.
I wish I could tell you more about the Don’t Go in the Water plot, but there simply isn’t anything to tell. However, the title certainly suggests this is some sort of aquatic horror film, and that’s a sub-genre I always enjoy. Earlier this year we saw the release of Underwater, a surprisingly fun undersea monster movie starring Kristen Stewart.
Other entries include DeepStar Six, Leviathan, Deep Rising, and more. Hell, you can even include every shark movie under that banner as well – all the Jaws flicks, The Shallows, Deep Blue Sea, and so on. The only real prerequisite is that the plot involves unlucky characters either on a boat or in some sort of underwater location being plagued by danger. It doesn’t even have to be monster-based danger. There’s Dead Calm, where the danger is Billy Zane. Hell, go ahead and include Titanic in there, I don’t care. There are no more rules anymore, folks. Anything goes these days.
“Fighting for your life makes every other thing you ever did before seem extremely dull.”
This line is spoken by Wendy Byrde Laura Linney in the penultimate episode of Ozark’s third season, which hit Netflix on Friday. It’s a line that cuts to the core of what makes Wendy, her husband Marty Jason Bateman, and the show around them tick. In its first season, Ozark plunged viewers into the world of the Byrdes and their Missouri money-laundering operation. From the moment a Mexican drug lord knelt Marty down and put a gun to his head in the pilot episode, we’ve been watching him talk and scheme his way out of certain death.
Subsequent episodes and seasons have seen Wendy take on an increasingly prominent role within the criminal enterprise that is keeping her and Marty and their two kids alive for now. Ozark lost some momentum in its second season as its pace slowed, but the show is back with a vengeance now, doing what it does best: namely, putting the Byrdes at the center of a volatile situation where things keep spiraling further out of control. This season, the dark drama pops with bigger emotional fireworks, thanks in no small part to the arrival of Wendy’s bipolar brother, Ben Tom Pelphrey, who adds an unexpectedly moving human element to a show where characters regularly display an inhuman lack of empathy. Ben is the Fredo Corleone in this equation, ready to break his sibling’s heart and that of the viewer.
If you’re all caught up with your weekend Ozark binge, then let’s dive into the Lake of the Ozarks with spoilers.Casino Boat on the River Styx
In the age of antihero TV, Ozark originally started out as something of a white-collar Breaking Bad, built around a financial advisor instead of a chemistry teacher. Like Walter White’s meth business, Marty’s money-laundering operation was born out of desperation. As he began navigating his life of crime, he even picked up his own young, gender-swapped, Jessie Pinkman-like accomplice in the form of Ruth Langmore Julia Garner in an Emmy-winning role. Likewise, the show was hardly unique in its approach to federal agents—with the dysfunctional dead Roy and his occasionally extraneous subplot calling to mind that of Michael Shannon’s character in Boardwalk Empire. Marty and Wendy’s nascent status as a Machiavellian power couple also had a precedent on Netflix in House of Cards.
Three seasons in, Ozark has managed to outstay these comparisons to other prestige dramas and establish its own identity as a show about two people achieving a twisted kind of selfhood by continuously fighting for their lives, just as Wendy says. The third season finds Marty and Wendy at cross purposes, with Wendy acting unilaterally and Marty deliberately undermining her plan to expand the business into a...