Clearly, we have strong feelings for Drew Goddard here at We Bought a Blog. Hell, we named a podcast after his feature film, Cabin in the Woods. It’s one of my favorite horror movies and is definitely a stay tuned for the podcast in the near future. Goddard is a weird figure because despite being hyper-successful, he can’t seem to catch a break. His Sinister Six movie got canceled by Sony. He gave up showrunner duties on Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix to take that gig. However, the first season has his fingerprints all over it. Even “Cabin in the Woods” is a film was released almost 2 years after it was supposed to release. Why? Because of all studios, MGM ran out of money. Well, he’s back in the game with Bad Times at the El Royale, and it looks glorious.

This movie is full of the actors you want in this kind of movie. Let’s just get it out of the way, Chris Hemsworth looks awesome in this one. He’s a kick-ass, crazy person. This is way out of character, who often plays good guys. Instead, we get a clearly evil, probably worst of the worst kind of vibe. He’s got the swagger we want out of “Movie Star” Hemsworth and then some. The last time he worked with Goddard, we got a self-aware and ridiculously charismatic, yet dumb character. This is the kind of role I want Thor in on a regular basis.

Jon Hamm and Jeff Bridges look to be having some real fun on set. There’s more than meets the eye in Hamm’s role, and Bridges basically doing a bit on himself. After all, the anti-hero gig suits him well. With Hell or High Water, Tron, and even Big Lebowski Bridges has always been clutch in this kind of role.  Meanwhile, Hamm takes a role that is one part Don Draper, one part pretty boy Hamm. Yet given the crime, shoot ’em up style prevalent through the trailer, expect a dose of Baby Driver Hamm if we’re lucky.

Then we’ve got Dakota Johnson, who seems to be willing to toss away type once again. She built a career on the back of the Fifty Shades franchise but seems hellbent on changing that stigma. Johnson seems interested in tying herself to auteurs and genre filmmaking. It’s why she keeps working with Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash and the upcoming Suspiria). The role looks empowering and potentially puts her at odds with Hemsworth in particular. If they’re both giving big performances, it’s a win-win for audiences.

The emerging talents are what makes me most excited for the film though. Cynthia Erivo feels like a character to watch. Erivo is also featured in Widows later this year, making her an ideal candidate for breakout performer awards down the road. Her career will be off with a bang with two exciting genre pictures. Fingers crossed for her to take a big step.

Then we’ve got Lewis Pullman, son of Bill Pullman, in a supporting role. He looks complimentary to most of the rest of the cast and could be a fun wildcard. Pullman was a lot of fun in Strangers: Prey at Night earlier this year. He’s also set for the new Top Gun: Maverick film. He’s joined by newcomer Cailee Spaeny, who also has quite the year ahead of her. Spaeny already showed up in Pacific Rim: Uprising, and is set to appear in On the Basis of Sex and Backseat later this year. The two young actors could be around for years to come, and Pullman shines in the trailer.

This is a killer trailer, and we don’t even get a look at everyone. There’s still Nick Offerman and Jim O’Heir, meaning we’ve got a mini-Parks and Rec reunion in the middle of the movie. It may not be the combo you expected (Ron Swanson and Jerry), but it’s still a fun reunion. With all this going for it, is there any doubt this will be one of my favorite movies of the year? Goddard knows how to knock it out of the park, and hopefully, we get some of his best work to date. God knows it’s been too long.

So where would you stay? California or Nevada? Or how do you feel about Bad Times at the El Royale? Let us hear in the comments! 

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