Eli Roth’s Horror Thriller ‘Thanksgiving’ Finds Its Stars in Jalen Thomas Brooks, Nell Verlaque (Exclusive)
Eli Roth has found his main course for Thanksgiving.
Jalen Thomas Brooks, best known for his recurring work on CW’s Walker, and Nell Verlaque, a series regular on Disney+ series Big Shot, have nabbed the starring roles in Roth’s slasher horror thriller being made by Spyglass.
Roth is directing the feature that is based on the faux trailer that the filmmaker made 16 years ago for the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez double bill Grindhouse. Production commences in March in Toronto.
Plot details are on the thin side, although it concerns a slasher who comes to a small Massachusetts town with the intention of “creating a Thanksgiving carving board out of the town’s inhabitants,” per sources.
Addison Rae is already on the call sheet with Patrick Dempsey in final talks to join the cast.
Sources say the feature will feature a large cast, with Roth on the lookout for many young up-and-coming thespians that will likely end up on the dinner plate. Rae is a supporting lead while Dempsey a key role.
Brooks and Verlaque will ostensibly lead the cast, probably to their dooms, although as any good horror fan knows, a lead’s chances of survival in a horror movie is always iffy, especially with Roth behind the camera.
However, Brooks and Verlaque could have big opportunities here as being a lead in a horror movie is a time-honored Hollywood tradition of being a launching pad to bigger things. From Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street to Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, certain actors have gone from dead meat to prime meat.
Brooks is coming off of 20 episodes of Walker, where he played an indie cool kid opposite Violet Brinson. He also played a bad boy opposite Katy Sagal in ABC’s Rebel and did a stint on TNT’s Animal Kingdom. He made his screen debut on an episode of CW’s Supergirl, playing a character named Simon Kirby.
He is repped by Paradigm, Impact Artists Group and Skrzyniarz & Mallean.
Verlaque has appeared on two seasons of Big Shot, the high school basketball drama starring John Stamos and co-created by David E. Kelley. She previously starred in the Lifetime movie Secrets in a Small Town and made her screen debut in the Amblin TV/CBS series Bull. She is a graduate of the LaGuardia School of Performing Arts and attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Verlque is repped at Innovative Artists and Anonymous Content.