Universal Pictures has set a September 21, 2018 release date for The House with a Clock in Its Walls, while the adaptation has also firmed up its cast. Joining the previously-announced Jack Black in this young adult gothic mystery is Cate Blanchett, young Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams and Sunny Suljic. While no production schedule has been given, it seems that production may begin soon, with the primary cast seemingly in place, and since the production has just under a year for principal photography and the post-production process.
Deadline reports that the story follows 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), who moves with his uncle Jonathan Barnavelt (Jack Black) into an ancient house that has a mysterious ticking clock heart within its walls. After coming across several secret passageways, young Lewis learns that his uncle is actually a warlock. He eventually finds a book of his uncle's spells, and unwittingly awakens an evil wizard, which sets in motion a chain of events tied to the clock/heart that is designed for doomsday purposes.
Kyle MacLachlan is set to play Isaac Izzard, the original owner of the house, while reports from last month reveal that Cate Blanchett is portraying Mrs. Zimmerman, a neighbor and longtime friend of Jack Black's character, Jonathan Barnavelt, who is also a quite powerful witch. Colleen Camp will play another one of Barnavelt's neighbors, the nosy Mrs. Hanchett, who isn't too fond of Barnavelt. No details have been given yet for the characters played by Renée Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams and Sunny Suljic, and it isn't clear how many more characters still need to be cast, before production gets under way.
Director Eli Roth takes the helm of this YA adaptation, working from an adapted screenplay by Eric Kripke (Supernatural, Revolution), based on the original novel by John Bellairs. Mythology Entertainment's Brad Fischer and James Vanderbilt are producing alongside Eric Kripke, with William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg and Laeta Kalogridis serving as executive producers. Cate Blanchett will next be seen in Thor: Ragnarok, while Jack Black will next be seen in Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle. Ironically, though, this new release date for The House with a Clock in Its Walls puts Jack Black in a rare position to be competing with himself.
Also slated for release on September 21, 2018 is Sony's Goosebumps 2, starring Jack Black as iconic author R.L. Stine, along with Lionsgate's Robin Hood movie starring Taron Egerton as the title character. Goosebumps 2 may plan on shifting its release now in response to this new release for The House with a Clock in Its Walls. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a star like Jack Black would actually have two major studio movies opening against each other in the same weekend. While it seems unlikely, there is still plenty of time to change course for either film.