Credit: Jaime Hernandez

Joe Dante’s Roger Corman biopic, The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes, will begin production in 2017. The movie details the legendary director and producer’s preparations as he gets ready to make the LSD-fueled 1967 cult classic, The Trip.

Last month, Dante (Gremlins) directed a reading of the film’s script at the Vista Theatre in Los Angeles, which starred Bill Hader as Corman, Jason Ritter as Trip lead actor Peter Fonda, and Ethan Embry as the film’s writer, Jack Nicholson.

The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes is part of a slate of projects announced by Company X, a new production entity founded by Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller, and Lisa Whalen. The quartet are partners in SpectreVision, the indie-horror company whose releases include Cooties and this year’s The Greasy Strangler, and which will remain intact, with Company X becoming its parent corporation. Company X has also announced four other upcoming projects: a Jason Ritter-starring drama called Bitch, the thriller Queen Mary, a comedy named Boot Camp Boys, and Haunted, Haunted House, about a cheesy, commercial haunted house that becomes actually haunted.

“Expansion has always been our goal, but we waited until we had a slate of projects we couldn’t pass up,” Whalen, Company X’s CEO, said in a statement. “SpectreVision exists in a very specific and unique area in the indie genre space. We’re often approached with projects that we love that aren’t right for SpectreVision’s indie genre space. Now we can engage with those projects without stretching the SpectreVision brand. Company X is any genre, at any budget, and allows us to connect with wider and more diverse audiences.”


Dante has a long history with Corman: The filmmaker began his career in the early ’70s cutting trailers for Corman’s company, New World Pictures, and Corman would later executive-produce Dante’s breakthrough movie, 1978’s Piranha. Dante then cast the famously budget-conscious Corman as a parsimonious public telephone-user in his next project, werewolf film The Howling.

Dante has also championed Corman’s work on his website Trailers From Hell. Hear fellow Dante’s fellow TFH “guru” — and fellow onetime Corman trailer-cutter — Allan Arkush ruminate on The Trip below.