The future looks so good, it’s scary. This week on Blumhouse’s Horror News Rundown, we’re taking a look at newly announced motion pictures that play on our terrifying childhood nostalgia, the return of some great horror-themed television series, and the renewed hope that one of the coolest new IP’s in recent years may not be as dead as we thought.
But all is not shiny and bright in horror land this week, as one of the most iconic horror actors in history reveals he’s come to regret some of his most famous roles, a major upcoming horror thriller loses a director and a supposedly funny new sketch about a cult classic TV series makes us all feel really, really, really old.
Let’s take a look!
Guillermo Del Toro Has Some SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
Oscar-nominated horror filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro has wanted to scare your children for years, first with a film about Disney’s HAUNTED MANSION (which never got off the ground), and now with an adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s beloved book series SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, which he has just signed up to produce and possibly direct. (Deadline)
A whole generation of horror lovers grew up reading SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, a compilation of morbid tales that were ostensibly for children, but which featured such terrifying artwork (courtesy of Stephen Gammell) that they actually gave all of us nightmares. In recent years these macabre illustrations have been replaced with newer, friendly images by A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS artist Brett Helquist, and they just haven’t been the same since.
The motion picture adaptation has been in the works for several years, most recently by screenwriter John August, who told CraveOnline back in November that Gammell’s illustrations are “an incredibly crucial part of the movie” and that “the difference between those original illustrations and the second set of illustrations are an important aspect of the movie experience.”
It remains to be seen whether Guillermo Del Toro will start from scratch or build upon August’s existing work on the film. In any case, Del Toro has a lot of his plate already, so we wouldn’t hold your breath for SCARY STORIES just yet.
Anthony Hopkins Regrets The Hannibal Lecter Sequels
It’s the sort of iconic role that most actors would kill for, but Anthony Hopkins thinks he overdid it a bit with Hannibal Lecter, the cannibal serial killer he played in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, HANNIBAL and RED DRAGON.
“I did it once,” Hopkins told The Wrap. “Made the mistake of doing it twice – three times. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is okay. It was a good film.”
Calling THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS a “good film” may be understating it. Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’s acclaimed novel is an established horror classic, and one of only three films to ever win the “top five” Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay (in this case, Best Adapted Screenplay).
But even though one of those Oscars went to Hopkins, he says he’s done with the character. When asked if he’ll ever return to playing Hannibal Lecter, Hopkins responded “No.” Then he added, “I don’t want to do that. Done with that.”
No One Wants to Buy the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS House
Speaking of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, the home of “Buffalo Bill” is currently up for sale in Layton, PA, and for some reason nobody seems to want it.
The owners of the Buffalo Bill house were asking $300,000 when they first listed the property in August, but have dropped the price to $250,000 after it languished on the market. As the New York Times points out, that’s about $100,000 more than a typical list price for a home in the area. The fact that Layton, PA is an isolated community probably has more to do with the fact that the home hasn’t sold than the lingering creepy factor from its depiction in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.
In any case, you can own a piece of movie history for just $250,000 if you happen to have that much money lying around. And if you want to move to Pennsylvania of course. You can buy it here.
Guillermo Del Toro Also Says PACIFIC RIM 2 Isn’t As Dead As You Think
Last week, we reported on the disappointing news that Warner Bros. and Legendary had canceled their plans to produce a sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM, a film about heroes in giant robot suits who defend Earth from extradimensional kaiju. The original film underwhelmed at American cinemas but earned enough money internationally to warrant development on a follow-up, until last week at any rate.
Guillermo Del Toro (who is obviously quite busy at the moment) took to his Twitter account to refute the rumors, or at least to mitigate them. On January 11, 2016 he wrote: “Pac Rim 2 cancelled? Don’t believe everything you read. It’s still going and I’ll remain w it in one way or another!”
That’s an encouraging but very vague statement, especially that last part. Could Del Toro be hinting that PACIFIC RIM 2 might continue with another director? We can only speculate. For now, all we know for sure is that a lot of people want a PACIFIC RIM sequel made, but that it’s not the highest priority for Warner Bros. and Legendary, which are putting all of their eggs in the GODZILLA/KING KONG shared universe basket for the foreseeable future.
World War Z Needs a New Director
Paramount is in such a mad dash to produce the WORLD WAR Z sequel that they seem to have left the film’s director behind.
Juan Antonio Bayona (THE ORPHANAGE) was set to direct the follow-up to the 2013 action-horror hybrid – the highest grossing zombie movie in history – but now he’s too busy finishing up his new drama A MONSTER CALLS to commit to WORLD WAR Z 2.
Paramount told The Wrap, “Bayona is no longer able to make ‘World War Z 2’ this year, and it is our ambition to do so. He is a wonderful director and we hope to work with him soon.”
News about Bayona’s replacement is bound to come soon if Paramount wants to make their June 9, 2017 release date. Fortunately, horror fans can take solace that A MONSTER CALLS was also made at least partially for them: the drama is about a young boy with a sick mother, who escapes into a fantastical world of monsters as a coping mechanism.
Laura Dern Joins TWIN PEAKS in 2017
David Lynch’s long, long, long-awaited return to the spooky town of TWIN PEAKS just added an all-new cast member, and rumors are emerging that she may be playing one of the most important characters in the series.
Laura Dern, who previously co-starred in Lynch’s films BLUE VELVET and INLAND EMPIRE, will reunite with the director in the upcoming season of TWIN PEAKS on Showtime. TV Line broke the news, and although they weren’t certain which character Dern would be playing, they are theorizing that she could be the legendary Diane, the unseen FBI Agent to whom Agent Dale Cooper sent his many audio recordings throughout the series.
Whether or not Laura will once again play the most important woman in her BLUE VELVET co-star Kyle MacLachlan’s life remains to be seen, but TV Line doesn’t confidently state that Dern will be doing more than just a cameo. It’s a “pivotal role” according to the publication.
In related news, TV Line also reports that Showtime CEO David Nevins has narrowed down the series’ release date. He claims that Lynch is “more than halfway through [the] shooting schedule, and it will premiere in the first half of 2017.” Mark your calendars!
PENNY DREADFUL: A New Teaser and Season Premiere Date
While we’re on the subject Showtime, we learned this week that their gothic horror series PENNY DREADFUL will return for its third season on Sunday, May 1 at 10pm EST. In addition to returning cast members Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway and Eva Green, the new season will introduce characters played by Wes Studi (THE RED ROAD) and Shazad Latif, the latter of whom plays the infamous Dr. Henry Jekyll.
The news arrived with an all-new trailer for PENNY DREADFUL’s third season, which you can watch above.
The BLAIR WITCH Creator Has a New Horror Series on STARZ
Eduardo Sanchez, who along with co-director Daniel Myrick helped start the “found footage” craze with the 1999 horror classic THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, has an all-new project to show you.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Sanchez’s new series SANTERIA “is a supernatural drama that centers on two undercover agents who investigate a bizarre murder. The drama explores the complex relationship between the Cuban people and Santeria, the ancient religion born on the island of Cuba.”
The series is part of a concentrated effort from the STARZ network to appeal to Latino viewers. SANTERIA will be executive produced by Sanchez along with his BLAIR WITCH producer Gregg Hale, as well as JUAN OF THE DEAD writer/director Alejandro Brugués, who recently directed an episode of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN.
SANTERIA isn’t the only horror-themed series that STARZ is green lighting for a Latino demographic. They are also developing a show called MALEFICIO, about a Mexican businessman who makes a deal with the devil, based on one of the most popular telenovelas ever made. The original MALEFICIO aired from1983-1984, and ran for a whopping 320 episodes.
Rob Zombie Wants to Turn His New Album Into a Movie
Another week, another piece of Rob Zombie news. The musician and filmmaker, whose next horror movie 31 premieres next week at the Sundance Film Festival, will release his new album on April 29th, and he’s planning to turn it into a movie.
Whether or not the film will have the same name as the album – THE ELECTRIC WARLOCK ACID WITCH SATANIC ORGY CELEBRATION DISPENSER – remains to be seen, although a film about a machine that dispenses orgy celebrations of any kind is fairy promising.
In a new press release, Rob Zombie also offered his fans a chance to be in the TEWAWSOCD movie. Quoth the Zombie: “I’m in love [with] this record so much I am making a fucking movie to go with it… and I want just 200 of the weirdest, most hardcore Zombie fans to be a part of it, that is if you’ve got what it takes.”
Apparently it takes $500. You can pre-order the album and buy your way onto the set right here.
Meet Black Philip in the New Trailer for THE WITCH
If you’re not looking forward to THE WITCH, you may not have been paying attention. Let’s catch you up to speed: THE WITCH is one of the most acclaimed horror movies in recent memory, it debuted at Sundance a year ago to fantastic reviews, and it’s finally coming to theaters on February 19, 2016.
It’s a “New England folktale” about a family in the 1630s who fall prey to black magic, and the new trailer is getting a lot of people excited. In it, we meet a creepy goat named “Black Philip,” and we are invited to think on our sins.
Give it a watch above.
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully Finally Have Sex!
This one is going to make a lot of us feel old. In a new sketch on JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson recently reprised their roles as paranormal investigators Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. No big whoop there, since they’re already returning to television in the official X-FILES revival next week, but in this sketch they also mercilessly lampoon the 1990s and finally – FINALLY – have sex!
Wait, wait… “finally?” Didn’t they make it pretty clear that Mulder and Scully slept together at least once in the Season 7 episode “All Things?”
Whatever. That was off-screen anyway. Watch the video above to see Mulder and Scully finally make out like teenagers, and share their mutual love of Pogs.