Behold, it is the time for mash-ups. On this week’s Horror News Rundown we’re taking a look at the unexpected alliance between THE WALKING DEAD and ROBOT CHICKEN, the upcoming title bout between Godzilla and King Kong, the new connection between JURASSIC WORLD and PACIFIC RIM, and the Iranian horror film that will now be set in London, in the middle of World War II.
THE WALKING DEAD Meets ROBOT CHICKEN
You know you’re a legitimate cultural phenomenon when ROBOT CHICKEN devotes an entire episode to making fun of you. So good news, horror fans! THE WALKING DEAD has joined a highly exclusive club with only three other members: STAR WARS, DC superheroes and Christmas.
Earlier this week, Adult Swim announced its upcoming slate (via The Wrap) and that announcement included a THE WALKING DEAD episode of the stop-motion animated sketch comedy series ROBOT CHICKEN. Just tucked away in there. Like it weren’t nothing. Like that wasn’t a big deal. Weird, right?
We can only imagine how clever and naughty a ROBOT CHICKEN episode can be with THE WALKING DEAD as its sole subject. But we’ll have to keep imagining until the episode comes out. Sadly, no word yet on exactly when that will be, but if it’s part of an official press release, it’ll probably be sooner than later.
Gareth Edwards Leaves GODZILLA 2
Well, this is a little embarrassing: Legendary Pictures agreed to wait patiently for GODZILLA director Gareth Edwards to finish directing ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY before starting work on GODZILLA 2. Now, two years later, Edwards is taking his leave from the Godzilla franchise altogether. All that time, basically wasted. Whoops.
Gareth Edwards had fully intended to direct the GODZILLA sequel, according to the report from Deadline, but after making two megablockbusters in a row he wants to focus on smaller, more personal projects. Which does make sense, from an artistic point of view.
Besides, it’s not like he’s the only filmmaker who can make a great giant monster movie. We’ll probably find out who will be replacing Gareth Edwards on GODZILLA 2 very soon, because this franchise is only just getting started.
GODZILLA VS. KING KONG: Rematch in 2020!
Did the Earth just shake for you? It will in the year 2020, because that’s when Godzilla and King King will have their long-awaited rematch.
The two giant monsters first fought in 1962’s KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, when Godzilla got its reptilian butt kicked. But the new film is called GODZILLA VS. KING KONG, so perhaps the tide will turn. The film is a continuation of the cinematic universe Univeral is creating, which began with Gareth Edwards’ GODZILLA (2014) and will continue in the upcoming KONG: SKULL ISLAND (2017) and GODZILLA 2 (2018).
Universal had to make some extra room to accommodate these titans. Earlier this week, the studio pushed the GODZILLA 2 release date back nine months, from June 8, 2018 to March 22, 2019. They also announced that GODZILLA VS. KING KONG will premiere one year later, on May 29, 2020. (Via Coming Soon)
The real question here is, will Godzilla shrink or will King Kong grow a few hundred feet? Because it won’t seem like much of a fight unless these two monsters can at least see eye-to-eye…
THE PREDATOR Gets an Upgrade
It’s not often that one of a horror monster’s victims comes back and gives the monster a helping hand, but that’s exactly what’s happening in THE PREDATOR. Shane Black co-starred in the original 1987 sci-fi classic (and did uncredited rewrites on the screenplay), and he was the Predator’s first on-camera victim. Now he’s coming back to direct and co-write THE PREDATOR in 2018, and he’s going to give the aliens an upgrade.
“It’s not to ‘improve,’ it’s to make it fun, make it different, make it organically different,” Shane Black told Coming Soon this week. “So what’s the extension of it that makes sense, that’s exciting? There have been a lot of changes to Stan’s design over the years. These different PREDATOR movies have done different things.”
Shane Black goes on to clarify that he’s not getting too hung up on the gadgets, concluding “In THE PREDATOR we’re doing a lot of upgrades to what you would consider to be the traditional Predator technology and look, but hopefully the story is what’s going to drag people in, not just the attention to the minutiae.”
We’ll find out if the upgrades are an improvement when THE PREDATOR hits theaters on March 2, 2018!
A New Writer Heads to the PACIFIC RIM
Fans are getting pretty antsy about PACIFIC RIM 2, the on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again and now (apparently) on-again sequel to the sleeper hit from 2013. Guillermo Del Toro’s original PACIFIC RIM imagined a near future in which giant aliens from another dimension repeatedly attack the planet Earth, forcing the nations of the world to unite and fight the kaiju menace in giant robots. And it set up a lot of room for a potential franchise, seeding mysteries about the aliens, the technology that links the robot pilots’ brains, and more.
Guillermo Del Toro was supposed to come back to direct the sequel, but he was eventually replaced with DAREDEVIL show-runner Steven S. DeKnight. The creator of PACIFIC RIM, Travis Beacham, was supposed to write the sequel script but he was replaced by Zak Penn and Guillermo Del Toro, and then Jon Spaihts. And now Hollywood Reporter reveals that Derek Connolly will be the latest screenwriter to take a crack at PACIFIC RIM 2.
Derek Connolly is no stranger to giant monster flicks, having co-written the mega-blockbuster JURASSIC WORLD and the upcoming King Kong reboot KONG: SKULL ISLAND. There’s no word yet on whether he’s being brought on to rewrite an existing draft or start over from scratch.
Look, we just want to see Newt and Gottlieb pilot a Jaeger together. Is that too much to ask? Make it happen already!
Lalo Schifrin’s Unused Score for THE EXORCIST is Coming
THE EXORCIST, one of the leading contenders for the title of “scariest movie of all time,” was almost a whole lot scarier. The story goes that director William Friedkin originally hired iconic composer Lalo Schifrin (who wrote the classic MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE theme) for 1973 horror film, but then literally threw Schifrin’s score out of a window. The score was used in an early trailer that reportedly sent audiences screaming out of the theater, which some credit to Lalo Schifrin’s music. But if you actually watch the thing (above), you’ll probably suspect – as I do – that the real problem was Friedkin’s choice of seizure-inducing strobe lights.
In any case, tucked away in a Vanity Fair article about Waxwork Records (and their new soundtrack record to Walter Hill’s 1979 action movie classic THE WARRIORS) is the news that the company is working on releasing Lalo Schifrin’s score, and we couldn’t be happier. Because we like scaring the crap out of ourselves.
No word yet on when the soundtrack will be released, but the article does say that the soundtrack is “next,” so hopefully pretty danged soon.
UNDER THE SHADOW Gets a Remake for Some Reason
Usually when a movie premieres at the Sundance Film Festival, earns a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and gets picked up for distribution on Netflix, that would be the end of it. But no, the Iranian horror film UNDER THE SHADOW is also getting an English-language remake, for some reason.
The original movie – which still isn’t even out yet – tells the story of a mother and daughter facing off against a mysterious evil in Tehran in the 1980s. The remake, according to Deadline, will take that same story and set it in London, in the middle of The Blitz in World War II. (Which now sounds a bit like WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH, but that’s probably not what they’re going for.)
The remake will be partly produced by XYZ Films, who picked up the theatrical rights to UNDER THE SHADOW out of Sundance 2016. The original film’s director, Babak Anvari, will serve as an executive producer to the remake and is also developing a new, unknown project with the same company, which he plans to direct.
Mark Pavia (Finally) Returns With FENDER BENDER
Fans of vampire movies, Stephen King and the 1990s will recall that nearly two decades ago, a film called THE NIGHT FLIER came out of nowhere and turned out to be one of the best Stephen King adaptations of that decade. The film never got a wide release, but its tale of a tabloid journalist on the trail of a vampire with a pilot’s license – it’s scarier than it sounds – was so smartly directed that it seemed like big things were inevitable for THE NIGHT FLIER’s director, Mark Pavia.
But then Mark Pavia fell off the radar, and he never directed another feature film… until now. Pavia’s new horror thriller FENDER BENDER is being released through Scream Factory and will premiere on the Chiller network on June 3rd. The film is about a young woman who gets in an accident and exchanges personal information with a stranger, who then turns out to be a maniac. (If you are in Los Angeles, you can also buy tickets to the premiere at the Cinefamily website.)
You can see the trailer above. Let’s hope it was worth the wait, and that it won’t be another 19 years before we hear back from Pavia again!