There are so many remakes, reboots and sequels nowadays that the opportunity to talk about a new horror franchise – even from the makers of TWILIGHT – is enough to get us excited for this week’s Horror News Rundown. Let’s not waste any more time. We’ve got sexy vampires, sexy ghosts, sexy serial killers and lots and lots of puppets to unleash…
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE: Remade, Re-Interviewed
Anne Rice’s sensual and tragic 1976 novel INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE is heading to theaters. Again.
The first version, directed by Neil Jordan (THE CRYING GAME), starred Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and a young Kirsten Dunst as immortal bloodsuckers in a state of nearly constant existential crisis. The film received two Oscar nominations (for Best Art Direction and Best Original Score) and was the 11th highest grossing film of 1994, well ahead of Stargate and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
The new adaptation comes from director Josh Boone (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), who revealed on Instagram this week that he had finished the screenplay with co-writer Jill Killington. Unlike the original movie, the new INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE will also adapt elements of Anne Rice’s follow-up novel THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, which had previously been adapted into the movie QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (which also incorporated elements of the novel QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, obviously).
It is unclear whether Universal plans to keep INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE entirely separate from their greatly hyped shared universe of monsters, which is set to kick off in 2017 with a new movie version of THE MUMMY starring the original Lestat himself, Tom Cruise. But it seems likely that INTERVIEW will warrant its own, separate franchise.
The UNIVERSAL MONSTERS Universe Just Got Bigger
Speaking of Universal, the studio expanded its planned Universal Monsters shared universe franchise this week with the announcement of a new, totally mysterious new film in the series, currently scheduled to come out on April 13, 2018.
In addition to THE MUMMY, which will kick off the new series, Universal is developing films based on THE WOLF MAN, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE INVISIBLE MAN. Presumably these films will all cross over in an epic summer blockbuster event that will pit them all against their deadliest adversaries: Abbott and Costello.
But that’s just speculation. Meanwhile, Universal appears to be planting the seeds for future films in the franchise’s first installment. Hollywood Reporter reports (from Hollywood) that Russell Crowe is currently in talks to appear in THE MUMMY, as Dr. Jekyll and/or Mr. Hyde, probably in anticipation of his own solo feature. (Maybe that’s what the mystery movie is?)
Universal’s plans keep getting bigger and bigger. Here’s to their new world of gods and monsters!
PUPPET MASTER: Remade!
There aren’t a lot of long-running horror franchises that Hollywood hasn’t tried to remake yet, and it looks like we’re about to check another one off the list. Acclaimed writer S. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK) has been tapped to write a screenplay for PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH, a reboot of the beloved killer marionette film series.
The PUPPET MASTER movies have been going strong since the first film’s release in 1990, telling the story of sometimes homicidal, sometimes heroic puppets crafted by anti-Nazi protest artist Andre Toulon during World War II. The series has lived almost entirely in the straight-to-video market, so Hollywood Reporter’s news that not only will the franchise be rebooted, but that it will be rebooted by TRANSFORMERS producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura as well, comes as quite a surprise. (Especially since the new film’s title, PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH, doesn’t exactly sound like the sort of blockbuster that drives audiences to theaters in droves.)
Regardless, diBonaventura Pictures seems to have high hopes for the franchise, with the franchise allegedly being prepped with “multiple storylines and an expanded mythology.” Co-producer Jack Heller also says that the reboot plans to embrace “all the practical effects and terrifying insanity that fans of the PUPPET MASTER films love.”
Zahler’s screenplay will tell the story of “a recently divorced young man who discovers a mint condition Blade doll in his deceased brother’s closet and plans to sell the toy at a convention in Oregon celebrating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose at the Postville Lodge during the auction when a strange force animates all of the various puppets throughout the convention as they go on a bloody killing spree.”
The Remake of THE CRAFT is a Sequel After All
Back in January, Blumhouse.com said THE CRAFT was one of five horror movies that really deserved a sequel. Now, it turns out we are finally getting our wish.
A remake of THE CRAFT, a film about a coven of disenfranchised teenagers who use their supernatural powers for selfish and violent ends, was announced last year. HONEYMOON director Leigh Janiak has been spearheading the project, which will indeed feature a new coven of witches, but in a world where the events of the previous film really did happen.
Producer Douglas Wick told Hitfix that “we wouldn’t so much call it a remake as a ‘twenty years later.’” He added, “There will be callbacks to the original movie, so you will see there is a connection between what happened in the days of THE CRAFT, and how these young women come across this magic many years later.”
Hey, it worked in THE RAGE: CARRIE 2, so it’ll probably work now, right?
We kid, we kid. Leigh Janiak is one of the horror genre’s most promising directors and any follow-up to THE CRAFT is worth getting excited about!
MONSTERPOCALYPSE: The Movie!
The awesome board game MONSTERPOCALYPSE is now in the running to be an awesome motion picture franchise. Studios were in a bidding war earlier this week over the rights to adapt the game, which pits players against each other as robots and kaiju, giant city-destroying monsters.
Hollywood Reporter reports (from Hollywood) that Warner Bros. finally won… the rights, not the game (although it would have been cool if the studio heads had been forced to beat each other at MONSTERPOCALYPSE to acquire the rights, wouldn’t it?). The director of the popular EVIL DEAD remake, Fede Alvarez, is attached to direct the upcoming film version, which may or may not turn out an awful lot like PACIFIC RIM.
Michael Fassbender is ENTERING HADES
Acclaimed actor and professional sexy man Michael Fassbender is once again exploring his dark side. The star of SHAME and 12 YEARS A SLAVE has just signed on to star in ENTERING HADES, a real-life serial killer drama written by Oscar-winner Alexander Dinalaris (BIRDMAN).
Variety reports that Michael Fassbender will play Jack Unterweger, an acclaimed Australian journalist and best-selling author who investigated murders and was also, in his spare time, a serial killer. Unterweger is known to have killed eleven people across the world.
Michael Fassbender will next be seen in the superhero blockbuster X-MEN: APOCALYPSE and the video game adaptation ASSASSIN’S CREED.
Is ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD the Next TWILIGHT?
Horror fans have mixed feelings about the TWILIGHT movies (to put it mildly), which told the story of a starcross’d love between a human teenager, a 100-year-old vampire, and the hunky werewolf who came between them. Created by author Stephenie Meyer, the series became the one of the most successful horror properties in history, but its quality was constantly called into question, with some folks loving it and some folks hating it outright.
Well, Meyer is bring a new horror franchise to theaters in an attempt to earn more audience fealty. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is a YA book series written by Kendare Blake, and Stephenie Meyer is producing a feature film adaptation starring Maddie Hasson (TWISTED) and Cameron Monaghan (GOTHAM).
ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD tells the story of Cas (Monaghan), a ghost hunter who travels America with his mother and cat, slaying the dead wherever he goes. His latest job, a murderous spectre known as “Anna Dressed in Blood,” goes awry when he is compelling to spare her un-life.
The new film will be directed by Trish Sie, whose previous film STEP UP: ALL IN wasn’t the best in the series but it did feature an awesome robot love story subplot and sand zombie steampunk dancers, so we can’t wait to see what she does next!