When it comes to horror news, some weeks are easier to talk about than others. Patterns emerge, fandoms align, a zeitgeist forms an excitable but relatively orderly line. Then there are weeks like this one, which is basically all over the place. On the latest Horror News Rundown we’re taking a look at disappointing news about upcoming video game adaptations, a creepy comic book series that may be turning into a less than creepy TV show, a mixed blessing from the world of GHOSTBUSTERS and an easter egg that might just warm the hearts of horror gamers everywhere.
Here’s the rundown…
Have We Seen the Last of THE LAST OF US?
Like a lot of high profile video games, the award-winning post-apocalyptic trauma factory THE LAST OF US was quickly snatched up for a theatrical film adaptation. And like a lot of high profile video games, its theatrical film adaptation is now official trapped in development hell.
Neil Druckman wrote and directed the video game THE LAST OF US and also wrote the movie’s screenplay. Earlier this week he told IGN that the studio is still coming to the game developer Naughty Dog with new drafts and ideas, but that “we haven’t seen anything in a while.”
“Every once in a while they’ll come in and they’ll present to us: here’s the script, here’s what we’re thinking. We’ll tell them what we think works, what we think doesn’t work. That’s where we’re at,” Druckman said of the project, adding that he thinks there is a new screenwriter involved now, as well. That lack of certainty is hardly an encouragement.
DEATH NOTE Gets Passed to Netflix
Horror filmmaker Adam Wingard is no stranger to awesome indies like YOU’RE NEXT and THE GUEST, but his upcoming adaptation of the popular manga/anime/feature film series DEATH NOTE promises to be his most ambitious project yet. The story of a teenager who discovers a notebook that kills anyone whose name is written inside of it expands into a globe-spanning, horrific adventure, filled with obsessive-compulsive detail about how that damned book works.
But for whatever reason, Warner Bros. – which had been developing the American film adaptation – has passed on the project and Netflix has taken over instead. The digital streaming service could start production as early as this June, and Variety is reporting that the film could be in the $40-50 million ballpark. Nat Wolff (PAPER TOWNS) and Margaret Qualley (THE LEFTOVERS) were both set to star in Adam Wingard’s DEATH NOTE. No word yet on whether they will remain involved.
CLOAK AND DAGGER Skulk Onto FreeForm
The latest Marvel television series will bypass the gigantic ABC network and the ubiquitous Netflix instant streaming service, and will instead premiere on FreeForm, formerly ABC Family, the current home of the cheesy but lovable teen-horror action-romance series SHADOWHUNTERS.
The show, CLOAK AND DAGGER, tells the story of two teenaged runaways who develop disturbing powers after they are used as human guinea pigs for experimental drugs. “Dagger” can create knives of light that drain a person’s life force, and “Cloak” opens a gateway to Hell and hungers, constantly hungers for more sinners to send inside of it.
The characters first appeared in the early 1980s and their comics quickly developed a reputation as some of the moodiest, most unsettling Marvel publications. In the years that followed, the characters have been retconned and lightened up a bit, but the potential for disturbing stories remains. Whether or not FreeForm is the best network to realize the characters’ full potential remains to be seen: their press release describes the show as “a superhero love story,” leaving out all the bits about narcotics and hungering darkness.
The REAL GHOSTBUSTERS Will Return (Some of Them)
If you loved the 1980s cartoon show THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERs, you’d better have shelled out the cash for that awesome Time Life DVD release eight years ago, because they’re not readily available any other way.
The impressively written, acted and animated TV spin-off of the beloved GHOSTBUSTERS movies (which eventually deteriorated in quality thanks to network interference) is coming back to home video in time for Paul Feig’s upcoming reboot. But not all of it. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced earlier this week that they will release “over 50 episodes” of the show on July 7th, on DVD and Digital.
The original run of THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS ran for 140 episodes (not including 33 not-very-popular SLIMER! shorts), so only releasing 50-ish shows is a huge disappointment. Still, it’s better than nothing. Although “better than nothing” is hardly a great way to describe a product.
LUCIFER Will Live On
LUCIFER stars Tom Ellis (GOTHICA) as the Devil, himself, on vacation from Hell and enjoying a taste of mortality in Los Angeles. His ability to draw out the deepest, darkest desires in mortals doesn’t work on LAPD detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German, HOSTEL PART II), prompting Lucifer to hang around her incessantly and become involved in her cases. It’s a formulaic show but a stylish and amusing one, thanks in large part to Tom Ellis’s charming performance and the show’s genuine sympathy for the Devil.
Fox has also picked up the popular detective show ROSEWOOD for a second season, but that series doesn’t have demons in it, so let’s just move on now.
Wesley Snipes Returns to Horror in TEMPLE
Wesley Snipes may be best known for playing the vampire hunter BLADE, but he’s never starred in a straight-up horror movie. That may or may not be about to change: Snipes has just signed on to star in TEMPLE, the latest thriller from director John Stockwell (TURISTAS), but from its description we honestly can’t tell if it’s supposed to be scary or badass.
According to Deadline: “The thriller follows a team of trained operatives who find themselves trapped inside an isolated military compound after its artificial intelligence is suddenly shut down. There, they begin to experience strange and horrific phenomena.”
TEMPLE emerges from WWE Studios and producer Gene Simmons, who is best known as the awesome frontman for KISS. Production begins this week, if it hasn’t already.
MOTHER, MAY I SLEEP WITH DANGER? Again?
In one of the strangest news stories in recent memory (especially in the world of horror), Lifetime has announced an upcoming remake of one of their most notorious thrillers. MOTHER, MAY I SLEEP WITH DANGER? starred Tori Spelling as a teenaged girl who, like most teenaged girls in Lifetime Original Movies, ignores the warnings of her mother and dates a sexy hunk who turns out to be a stalker.
A remake in and of itself probably wouldn’t be terribly big news, but there’s more to MOTHER, MAY I SLEEP WITH DANGER in the 21st century. The new film’s story comes from James Franco (OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL), and he has made it into a movie about vampires.
Tori Spelling will return to play the mother in what may very well be the strangest Lifetime Original Movie yet. (And after last year’s A DEADLY ADOPTION, which starred Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, that’s saying something.) The newly horrifying “re-vamp” of MOTHER, MAY I SLEEP WITH DANGER will premiere on the cable station on June 18, 2016, at 8pm ET/PT.
ALAN WAKE in QUANTUM BREAK
Remedy Entertainment’s cult hit video game ALAN WAKE wasn’t a mega hit, but its moody atmosphere and Stephen King-inspired storyline made it a cult favorite. A sequel was planned but later postponed in favor of Remedy Entertainment’s new game QUANTUM BREAK, an ambitious project that combines innovative time mechanics and live-action elements.
But Remedy didn’t want to leave ALAN WAKE fans empty-handed. There’s an easter egg in QUANTUM BREAK that brings the horror game back, however briefly, and YouTube user Ghost Robo found it and put it online for all to see. It’s not really much of a spoiler, for anything really, it’s just a neat shout out and possibly a tease for future ALAN WAKE installments. Take a gander, and consider the possibilities.