Development Hell is a lot like actual Hell, in that nobody wants to go there and hardly anything ever leaves.
This week on the Horror News Rundown we’re getting updates on several promising film franchises that are either trying to emerge from the Hollywood production quagmire or sinking ever deeper inside of it. (Usually both.) We also have a new trailer for one of the dumbest-sounding horror movies in a while, and that’s a good thing, an important TV series update and yes, you read the headline accurately: MUSICAL RESIDENT EVIL.
THE CROW Reboot is in Trouble (Again)
Okay, maybe it can rain all the time. For years now Relativity Media has been trying to produce a big screen reboot of THE CROW, the cult classic supernatural revenge movie adapted from the comic book by James O’Barr. The project has been delayed several times due to filmmakers and cast members moving in and out of the production, but now the situation may be worse than ever.
Relativity Media filed for bankruptcy last year (already a bad good starting point), and Dana Brunetti from Trigger Street Productions took over the creative reins of the company. According to The Wrap, Relativity Media elected to fire THE CROW’s most recent filmmaker, Colin Hardy (THE HALLOW), and start fresh with a new creative take on the project.
It’s a decision that may come back to haunt them. Hollywood Reporter now reports that Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation – which produced the original 1994 film and optioned the rights to Relativity – is considering Hardy’s removal a breach of contract, since he was fired without their approval.
Pressman filed paperwork earlier this week that would deny Relativity the rights to the whole franchise, including remakes, sequels and prequels. How far their claim will go remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: THE CROW won’t be taking flight anytime soon.
No BEETLEJUICE, BEETLEJUICE, BEETLEJUICE 2… Yet
Fans of Tim Burton’s classic 1988 horror comedy BEETLEJUICE got their hopes up last week, when ShowbizSpy reported from a “spy” who claimed that Burton confirmed that “everything was in place.”
Sadly, those hopes were soon dashed with Tim Burton’s representatives told Entertainment Weekly that the comments attributed to the filmmaker were “fabricated.” According to them, the BEETLEJUICE sequel is not currently in development and that Burton is focused on finishing MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (in theaters September 30, 2016) and then developing his upcoming live-action adaptation of DUMBO.
Sorry folks, but it looks like Beetlejuice won’t be going Hawaiian – or anywhere else – anytime soon.
J.J. Abrams Confirms HALF-LIFE and PORTAL Are Still Alive
But all is not lost in development hell. The motion picture adaptations of the beloved video games HALF-LIFE and PORTAL are still moving forward, according to producer J.J. Abrams (10 CLOVERFIELD LANE).
The groundbreaking video games from Valve each have horror elements. In HALF-LIFE, a scientist named Gordon Freeman opens a portal to a new dimension filled with horrifying monsters. In PORTAL, a woman named Chell awakens in a scientific facility where everyone is dead except for an artificial intelligence that wants her to test out an experimental device that shoots… well, portals. (It’s a very accurate title.)
Valve announced the collaboration with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company in 2013 but updates have been scarce ever since. Abrams recently told IGN that “They’re in development,” adding, “And we’ve got writers, and we’re working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update.”
PREACHER Will Convert You On May 22, 2016
The long-awaited TV adaptation of PREACHER is finally, officially revealing itself to the world at the end of May. The series, produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin, tells the story of a preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), who teams up with his assassin ex-girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga) and a vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) to track down God himself, who abandoned his post in Heaven.
AMC will air the pilot episode of PREACHER on Sunday, May 22nd at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT after the mid-season finale of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. The network plans to re-air the pilot, twice, on May 29, 2016, and then continue the series on June 5 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Creepy Dolls Will Probably Still Be Creepy in ANNABELLE 2
The spin-off to the acclaimed blockbuster horror thriller THE CONJURING may not have set the box office on fire, but ANNABELLE – a prequel about a killer doll – did well enough to warrant a sequel, and David F. Sandberg is in talks to direct, according to Bloody Disgusting.
Sandberg is a horror filmmaker on the rise, having turned his short film LIGHTS OUT into a feature film that is receiving a major summer release on July 22, 2016. The screenplay to ANNABELLE 2 is being written by Gary Dauberman, who also penned the original ANNABELLE and a nifty straight-to-video flick called BLOODMONKEY.
ANNABELLE 2 is reportedly being readied for a 2017 release, but the details are unconfirmed.
Outlander! Outlander! We Have Your CHILDREN OF THE CORN Sequel!
The incredibly long-running CHILDREN OF THE CORN series is going to harvest once again: another sequel has secretly started production, according to Bloody Disgusting.
Written by Joel Soisson (DRACULA 2000) and directed by John Gulager (PIRANHA 3DD), the new sequel would be the ninth film in the series, if you don’t count the 2009 Made-for-TV remake and the 1983 short film DISCIPLES OF THE CROW. The last sequel, CHILDREN OF THE CORN: GENESIS, came out in 2011 and ended with a ridiculously over the top car chase pieced together from leftover BAD BOYS II footage. (And that’s 100% true.)
Since then the franchise, about a cult of children who worship “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” and kill every adult in town, has laid dormant. But Dimension films has to do something with the series or else risk losing the rights, so the timing of this sequel – if indeed it is already in production – makes perfect sense.
Nothing Can Prepare You For RESIDENT EVIL: THE MUSICAL
Well, actually that headline isn’t 100% accurate. The live stage show adaptation of RESIDENT EVIL is called MUSICAL RESIDENT EVIL, which somehow sounds even better.
The musical, which is an official tie-in, will run in Tokyo from September to October in 2016, and then open in Osaka in November. Reon Yuzuki will star in the production, which will be directed by playwright G2.
There’s nothing much to add here. We don’t know the plot and we don’t really care. We just want to see MUSICAL RESIDENT EVIL, and we want to see it right now.
Nothing Else Can Prepare You For SHARK EXORCIST
Let’s be honest: we all know that some low budget horror movies are only produced because someone came up with a catchy title. But SHARK EXORCIST takes the taco. The new film premieres on DVD on June 24, 2016 and debuted a new trailer earlier this week. Take a gander at the preview, and check out the ridiculous plot synopsis:
“A demonic, murderous nun unleashes terror on a small fishing town when she summons satan to inhabit the body of a great white shark – who then possesses the body of a local young woman, staring a chain reaction of evil. Now a Catholic priest must must take to land and sea in order to send these man-killer back to hell!”