A few years back, there was a pretty interesting headline that came out of Los Angeles. Yes, I know, L.A.’s a big place, so I’ll probably have to be a bit more specific as to which story I’m referring to. But before I do that, let’s step back a minute and lay the groundwork.
In downtown Los Angeles, there was a hotel known as The Cecil Hotel (I say was because the hotel has since rebranded itself as Stay on Main), renowned for its morbid history. Located in the notorious area Skid Row, the Cecil Hotel was well known for its rampant criminal activity — it housed serial killer Richard Ramirez for some time — and suicides. In one particularly unlucky case, a man jumped from the building to commit suicide, only to land on someone down below in the process, resulting in a double death. Sounds like a joke, but it’s all too real.
The hotel hit headlines again once again in February of 2013 when a guest complained about the foul-tasting water. The source of the taste was the decomposing body of the 21-year-old Canadian woman Elisa Lam, who was found naked and decomposing in the water tank on the roof of the building. Needless to say, here are a fair number of questionable circumstances surrounding it, namely “how did she get onto the locked — and alarm-protected — roof?” and “how did she get in the tank itself, which is pretty difficult to get into?”
The questions only increased exponentially when footage was released that showed Lam in the hotel elevator, acting in a peculiar and paranoid manner. You can take a look at the footage yourself below, but once that it, people began to speculate that she was on drugs, possessed, or on the run from someone.
Just as a side note, some folks have also compared the events in this case to the events in the horror film Dark Water, which came out years prior to this event, but there’s no actual connection.
So why do I say all this? Well, this is all one big preamble to reporting that Sony has decided not to go forward with a film starring Michael Peña entitled The Bringing, Deadline is reporting.
The Bringing is a film inspired by the events described above, and in 2014, a script was written by writers Brandon and Phillip Murphy (though it passed through several hands before it was finished) — it even made the Black List for that year, which is already a sign that it’s a solid story (via Variety). The film was originally set to be directed by Jeremy Lovering, but he's since been replaced by Starry Eyes directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer.
The synopsis for the film is described as follows:
“A private investigator investigates a mysterious murder at a downtown Los Angeles hotel and uncovers its dark supernatural history. Based on true events.”
Unfortunately, there’s no word as to why this film has been put into turnaround, but one has to wonder if it has to do with the sensitive nature of the material. If nothing else, this recent year has proven that a well-written horror film can succeed at the box office, so unless there were some outside circumstances, it’s a bit odd they’d back out.
Regardless, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on this film, as it’s an intriguing story — one we’d be excited to check out in theaters.