When there is no more room in development hell, the horror movies will finally come to theaters. This week on our Horror News Rundown, some highly anticipated adaptations of best-selling novels finally emerge from the depths, including the works of Stephen King, Dan Simmons and Steve Alten. We also get new release dates on the ALIEN and PREDATOR movies, exciting remake casting and a cool-looking new video game from the creators of a horror-comedy classic.
And hey, did you hear about that new GHOSTBUSTERS movie? We’ll get to that. Here’s your Horror News Rundown!
Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey Will Star in THE DARK TOWER
It was believed that Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER series was too ambitious to ever become a motion picture, but that hasn’t stopped filmmakers like Ron Howard and J.J. Abrams from trying to get one off the ground.
Now it appears that the project is closer to fruition than ever: Nikolaj Arcel (A ROYAL AFFAIR) is attached to direct, and this week Idris Elba (LUTHER) and Matthew McConaughey (TRUE DETECTIVE) were cast as Roland the gunslinger, and The Man in Black. Stephen King confirmed the casting news via Twitter, followed by both Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.
McConaughey had previously been rumored for the role of Randall Flagg in THE STAND, a feature adaptation of another Stephen King epic that recently hit the skids. Flagg and The Man in Black are one and the same, creating a curious bit of synergy between studios, provided of course that Josh Boone’s adaptation of THE STAND ever gets back up again (he has already moved on to another Stephen King adaptation, REVIVAL).
Nikolaj Arcel confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that production on THE DARK TOWER is scheduled to begin in South Africa in just seven weeks. Sony has scheduled the film to be released on January 13, 2017.
Has the SUSPIRIA Remake Been Cast Already?
David Gordon Green’s remake of SUSPIRIA was in the works for years, until the shift to micro-budgeted horror made an expensive scary movie too daunting for studios. But the task of reworking Dario Argento’s horror classic, about a witch warping reality at an isolated ballet academy, has recently fallen to Luca Guadagnino (I AM LOVE), and in a recent Q&A he appears to have revealed the two new stars of SUSPIRIA.
Alex Heller-Nicholas reported this week that Guadagnino, in a Q&A, said his SUSPIRIA will star Dakota Johnson (FIFTY SHADES OF GREY) and Tilda Swinton (ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE), and will be set in Berlin in 1977. Without exact quotes it’s difficult to determine if these deals are set in stone or not, but they make sense: Johnson recently became an international star, and Swinton has worked with the filmmaker before, on A BIGGER SPLASH and I AM LOVE.
The original SUSPIRIA is considered one of the greatest, scariest, most hallucinogenic horror movies ever produced. Any remake is going to have to work overtime to win fans of the original over, but if it’s going to happen, we certainly wish the filmmakers the best. Nobody wants to see a bad movie called SUSPIRIA.
ALIEN: COVENANT and THE PREDATOR: Unleashed in 2017 and 2018
20th Century Fox’s dueling franchises (in that they literally duel each other once in a while), ALIEN and PREDATOR, are returning to theaters very soon. How soon exactly we didn’t know until earlier this week, when the studio announced that Ridley Scott’s ALIEN: COVENANT was being moved up from its October 2017 release date, and that Shane Black’s THE PREDATOR is now en route for a 2018 debut.
ALIEN: COVENANT, starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Jussie Smollett, Amy Seimetz and Carmen Ejogo, is now scheduled to premiere on August 4, 2017. Details about the plot have not yet been released, but it is expected to be about the crew of a ship that runs across the survivor of PROMETHEUS, the android David, on a hostile, alien-inhabited planet.
THE PREDATOR, directed by Shane Black and co-written by Black and Fred Dekker, has no cast in place yet but is now expected to arrive in theaters on March 2, 2018. All we know so far about this film is its title, but the inventive team of Black & Dekker previously brought us the genre classic THE MONSTER SQUAD, so we have high, high hopes.
Does the Predator have nards…?
That FLATLINERS Remake is Still Happening, Adds Diego Luna
It’s been a long time since we last heard about a remake of FLATLINERS, the 1990 supernatural thriller which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt as pre-med college students who killed themselves and come back to life for kicks. Naturally, they then discovered that they brought their personal demons back with them.
The remake was announced all the way back in 2011 but only appears to be moving forward now, with the news that Diego Luna (ELYSIUM) will join a cast that already includes Ellen Page (INCEPTION). The film will be directed by Niels Arden Oplev (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) and written by Ben Ripley (SOURCE CODE).
The original film was a great idea that was sometimes torpedoed by low ambition. Kiefer Sutherland was haunted by the ghost of a child he accidentally killed, the other subplots – Kevin Bacon feels bad about being a bully as a kid, William Baldwin feels guilty about filming his sexual trysts – didn’t have the same “oomph.” There’s room for FLATLINERS to improve in a new incarnation, so here’s hoping it really comes to life under Niels Arden Oplev and doesn’t… you know, flatline or whatever.
Jon Turteltaub Catches MEG
Few horror movies are scarier than JAWS, but what if the Great White Shark from Steven Spielberg’s classic thriller was the size of a whale? That’s the question more-or-less posed in Steve Alten’s best-selling novel MEG, about a paleontologist who comes face to face with a megalodon, a prehistoric shark that weighs 20 tons.
MEG was all set to be adapted for the big screen several times, most recently by THE GREEN INFERNO director Eli Roth, but now it appears that the potential blockbuster which evokes Steven Spielberg’s JAWS will be directed by a filmmaker who’s done that before: Jon Turteltaub, whose hit film NATIONAL TREASURE already played a heck of a lot like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The script is being written by Dean Georgaris (PAYCHECK).
MEG wouldn’t be the first film about a megalodon, of course. Who could forget John Barrowman’s iconic performance in SHARK ATTACK 3: MEGALODON?
Few horror television series have been remotely as successful as THE WALKING DEAD, AMC’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s popular comic book about the zombie apocalypse. But after milking that series for years and producing a new spin-off, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, the network finally seems ready to move on to a new breed of terror. Specifically… THE TERROR.
Based on a 2007 novel by Dan Simmons, THE TERROR tells the story of John Franklin’s expedition to discover The Northwest Passage in the mid-19th century. Franklin’s entire expedition, 129 men in all, were lost. Simmons’ novel depicts their plight in the frozen north as plagued by mutiny, cannibalism, and a monster.
Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free will bring THE TERROR to life, under showrunners Soo Hugh (THE WHISPERS) and David Kajganich (BLOOD CREEK). No word yet on casting, or when the show is expected to air on the AMC network.
THIMBLEWEED PARK: From the Makers of MANIAC MANSION
Old school point-and-click adventure video games were once a bastion of complex storytelling and totally bonkers humor, but the medium fell out of favor over the years. Still, games like Lucasfilm Games’ MANIAC MANSION linger the public consciousness, thanks in part to players who grew up with the games and the recent resurgence of quality re-releases.
But a new game is now on the horizon, created by MANIAC MANSION’s Ron Gilbert and Garry Winnick, that seems to revive the genre with a story that feels more than a little inspired by TWIN PEAKS. Our first look at the game promises murder, ghosts and a protagonist who isn’t all that she seems.
The trailer for THIMBLEWEED PARK introduces gamers to Agent Ray, who intones, “A body was found the river, bloated and pixelated from the decay of a death come too soon, the victim of the violence we bring on each other and the pursuit of our dreams turned to nightmares. A boyish-looking and dangerously naive Junior Agent Reyes got there before me. I introduced myself as Special Agent Ray, and immediately began to doubt if the body would suit my needs.”
THIMBLEWEED PARK was kickstarted back in 2014, and is now expected to be released in late 2016 on Windows, Mac, Xbox One and Linux, with Android and iOS expected afterwards.
Full Moon Streaming REALLY Wants Your Business
Full Moon Features, the low budget production company famous for “little monster” movies like GHOULIES, PUPPET MASTER and GINGERDEAD MAN, has an instant streaming service you may have heard about. And if you haven’t heard about it, or if you’ve never actually gone the distance and ordered a subscription, now is the perfect time.
FullMoonStreaming.com is currently offering subscribers a $50 gift card when you subscribe for a year, along with six Full Moon DVDs or Blu-rays of your choosing. Since a yearly U.S. subscription is only $65, that means they’re basically giving away the streaming service if you buy a few of their products. That service includes Full Moon movies, as well as selections from great horror distributors like Blue Underground, Something Weird and more.
So if you ever wanted to own any Full Moon movies (and you should, since some of them are cult classics for a reason), you don’t have an excuse right now. Get the deal while you can.
Hey, Have You Seen That GHOSTBUSTERS Trailer Yet?
It’s got some problems (Winston wasn’t a scientist, remember?) but Paul Feig’s new GHOSTBUSTERS reboot has some creepy imagery and at least a few good gags. The first full-length trailer premiered yesterday, so check it out!