Drew Goddard to direct, co-write thriller

MGM has acquired and greenlit “The Cabin in the Woods,” a thriller penned by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard with Goddard signed to make his directorial debut and Whedon producing.

“Cabin” is the studio’s first movie to get the greenlight from Mary Parent, head of the studio’s worldwide motion picture group. Logline’s being kept under wraps.

Goddard has served as writer and exec producer on “Lost” and most recently wrote the screenplay for “Cloverfield.”

He and Whedon first teamed on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which Whedon created, and also worked together on the “Buffy” spinoff “Angel.” Goddard also worked on “Alias” as a writer and co-producer.

Whedon’s feature credits include “Speed” and “Toy Story.” His next TV project, “Dollhouse,” will launch on Fox in 2009.

MGM has been aggressively acquiring properties since Parent was tapped in March as part of MGM chief Harry Sloan’s plan to build a homegrown slate. Key properties include “The Zookeeper,” a comedy spec from the team of Jay Scherick and David Ronn and attached Walt Becker (“Wild Hogs”) to direct and produce; and Robert Ludlum’s “The Matarese Circle,” with Relativity on board to co-finance and Denzel Washington starring.

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