Left: Jay Hernandez in 'Hostel.' Right: Paul Giamatti.
(Dimension / Arturo Holmes, Getty Images)

Eli Roth Is Making a ‘Hostel’ TV Series Starring … Paul Giamatti?!

After earning multiple awards nominations and taking home a Golden Globe for The Holdovers, Paul Giamatti could probably do just about anything he wants. And what he wants to do is make a TV series based on a hit horror movie from 2006.

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THR reports that Giamatti has signed on to star in a new television series based on Hostel, writer-director Eli Roth’s hit horror flick from 2006. Roth is returning to direct and will write the script with fellow producer Chris Briggs. Mike Fleiss—yes, as in the brother of Heidi Fleiss and creator of The Bachelor—is also returning to produce the new series, which is being described as a “modern adaptation” and an “elevated thriller” (groan) that functions as a “reinvention” of the Hostel movies.

Dumped in theaters back in January 2006, Hostel became a massive hit, grossing $82 million on a reported budget of $4.8 million. Roth’s sophomore effort stars Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson as a couple of college bros whose European backpacking adventure is derailed by promises of a Slovakian hostel in a town full of horny women. When they arrive in Slovakia, the men are captured and taken to a slaughterhouse of sorts, where ultra-wealthy members of a secret hunting club pay premium prices to torture and murder random people.

Back in 2013, Giamatti revealed that he met Roth during production on the first Hostel. “Eli was shooting Hostel in Prague and I was shooting The Illusionist and I met him,” he told EW. “We talked about me actually killing somebody in that movie but it never panned out.” While plot and character details are still under wraps, it seems likely that Giamatti will be playing a member of the hunting club who pays top dollar to torture our new protagonist(s).

Hostel was part of a wave of gnarly, hyper-violent films in a sub-genre colloquially known as “torture porn,” a modern evolution of the splatter flick that gave birth to the Saw franchise. Roth quickly released a follow-up, Hostel: Part II, an arguably superior movie that wasn’t able to replicate the success of its predecessor.

Gratuitous violence (or not, YMMV) aside, it’s actually surprising that it’s taken this long to revive Hostel. The plot—super-rich people get bored, use piles of wealth to commit heinous acts of violence on poors—is even more relevant now than it was in 2006. Depending on how the 2024 election goes, we might need the catharsis of a Hostel series sooner rather than later.

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Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.