Reboots and sequels and Blu-rays, oh my! This was a big, big week for continuations of our favorite horror franchises, with casting news, exciting new directors and strange cinematic follow-ups to a beloved book series. Let’s not waste any time getting to this week’s horror news rundown!
Universal Pictures is putting together an amazing lineup of upcoming monster movies, and they’ve got an impressive cast to match. They’ve already got Russell Crowe playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Johnny Depp playing the Invisible Man, they allegedly have Dwayne Johnson in talks to play the Wolf Man… and to that cast, we can now reportedly add Javier Bardem, Oscar-winning star of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, as Frankenstein.
Unfortunately, the publication that broke the news was frustratingly vague about what they meant by “Frankenstein,” so fans are being left to speculate as to whether Javier Bardem is playing Dr. Frankenstein or the “Frankenstein monster” that the good doctor resurrected in a laboratory.
That being said, Bardem would be an intriguing choice in either role. There is no word yet on when he will be making his first appearance in the franchise, or whether he would appear in a standalone FRANKENSTEIN, or as a part of the already in-development BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN reboot at the studio.
It took long enough, but the lucrative and prolific SAW franchise appears to be coming back to theaters. The popular “torture porn” series about a serial killer who lets his victims kill themselves in elaborate deathtraps has been on ice since the seventh film in the franchise, SAW 3D, came out in 2010. And although that film was marketed as the last film in the series, it did end with a bit of a cliffhanger, so fans for the franchise knew that this was coming sooner or later.
But SAW fans have even more to be excited about: it now appears that The Spierig Brothers have been tapped to direct SAW 8 (which may or may not be called SAW LEGACY). The Spierig Brothers brought you the recent, acclaimed sci-fi thriller PREDESTINATION, as well as the inventive and underrated 2009 vampire thriller DAYBREAKERS. The script for the eighth SAW movie will be written by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, who also wrote the screenplays for PIRANHA 3D and PIRANHA 3DD.
There are no details yet about the plot, or even whether the new SAW will continue the convoluted storyline of the original films at all. But we do have a release date: you’ll be playing a new game when SAW 8 hits theaters on October 27, 2017.
Production on Neill Blomkamp’s ALIEN sequel has stalled, but series star Sigourney Weaver remains hopeful that the sci-fi thriller will go back into production soon. The film reportedly ignores the events of ALIEN 3 and ALIEN: RESURRECTION (and presumably the ALIEN VS. PREDATOR movies), and according to Weaver, it will give her character, Ellen Ripley, “an ending.”
“It’s a great story and it’s satisfying to me to give this woman an ending,” Weaver says, adding that were it not for Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS sequel ALIEN: COVENANT, Blomkamp’s film would have been shot already.
Of course, Ripley already had an ending in ALIEN 3 — she even had two of them, if you count the cloned version who appeared in ALIEN: RESURRECTION — but many fans of the series were frustrated by the direction the ALIEN films took after the second installment. And it seems, based on her quotes, that Weaver may be one of them.
Will we ever get to see Neill Blomkamp’s ALIEN sequel? Only time will tell, but it sounds like his version is what the fans — and Sigourney Weaver — want from the franchise.
Stephen King’s most ambitious series of stories, THE DARK TOWER, were long considered “unfilmable” by his readers, not to mention Hollywood studios. But production has begun on them anyway, and as we learned this week, one of the big fan theories about the ambitious production is true: it’s not an adaptation of Stephen King’s novels, it’s actually a sequel.
The gunslinger named Roland, played by Idris Elba, will be carrying the Horn of Eld at the beginning of THE DARK TOWER movie, and that’s an artifact he didn’t have at the beginning of the book series. Without getting into too much detail, that means that the events of THE DARK TOWER are happening all over again, but for the first time, and that some elements of the original stories will stay the same but some may play out dramatically differently.
Entertainment Weekly also debuted several new images from the production, some which you can see by clicking the headline link above.
Because nobody can get enough Stephen King (apparently), this week also brought with it our very first look at Pennywise the Clown, the villain from the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s IT, as played by HEMLOCK GROVE star Bill Skårsgard.
Pennywise the Clown is a supernatural entity that can take the form of anyone’s phobias, so it only makes sense that he spends most of his time as a carnival clown. The character was originally portrayed by the legendary Tim Curry in a 1990 television mini-series directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (HALLOWEEN III), in a performance that gave an entire generation of children nightmares.
“Tim Curry’s performance was truly great, but it’s important for me to do something different because of that,” Skårsgard told Entertainment Weekly. “I’ll never be able to make a Tim Curry performance as good as Tim Curry.”
IT, directed by Andrés Muschietti (MAMA), arrives in theaters on September 8, 2017.
NEIGHBORS, CLOWN and UNIVERSAL HORROR Blu-ray Announcements
Two of the mightiest horror franchises are finally coming to Blu-ray in their entirety: Universal Pictures announced this week the release of THE WOLF MAN: COMPLETE LEGACY COLLECTION and FRANKENSTEIN: COMPLETE LEGACY COLLECTION, both of which include the complete original series of classic films. The boxed sets will be available on September 13, 2016 and are both currently on sale through Amazon for a very reasonable $39.98.
Of course, fans of the other Universal Monster movies — like DRACULA, THE MUMMY and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON — are probably wondering where there rest of their favorite franchises are. We can only presume that Universal will get to them sooner than later, especially with their big budget reboots coming over the next couple of years.
On the more contemporary side of things, the long-awaited supernatural thriller CLOWN, directed by SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING filmmaker Jon Watts, finally hits DVD and Blu-ray on August 23, 2016 and THE NEIGHBOR, the new thriller from Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (THE COLLECTOR), arrives on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD on September 6, 2016. Their new film is about a man who suspects his neighbors may be keeping something shocking in their cellar (which makes it sound like a gritty remake of THE BURBS, which is in itself kind of cool).
GRAND THEFT AUTO V Gets a FRIDAY THE 13TH Mod
Sandbox games like GRAND THEFT AUTO V frequently play like slasher simulators, so it only makes sense that somebody would modify one of them to make the metaphor literal. Credit goes to YouTuber “SpiderBrian” for making this happen for real. Check out the cool video above to see how he modded GRAND THEFT AUTO V into a FRIDAY THE 13TH game. Maybe it’ll wet your appetite for the official new FRIDAY THE 13TH video game, headed your way this fall from Gun Media.
Nothing Can Prepare You For the BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN Trailer
It was only a matter of time before Madea, the cross-dressing comedic creation of filmmaker Tyler Perry, moved from Christmas to Halloween. Whether she makes you laugh or not, BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN is headed to theaters on October 21, 2016 and this week the film premiered a HALLOWEEN-inspired poster (below) and a full-length trailer (above), which you can totally watch if you want to. But nobody’s going to force you. Life is scary enough.