We’re back from Comic-Con and catching up on the biggest horror news, and this week has been a doozy. Fans of the genre are still reeling from the new Netflix series STRANGER THINGS, and we’ve got updates about the future of that program. We’ve also got exciting sequel prospects for the hit supernatural thriller LIGHTS OUT, a release date (finally) for one of the most anticipated horror movies in years, and a weird-ass trailer in which Matt Damon fights giant monsters in China.
The STRANGER THINGS Producers Have Plans for Season 2
The biggest mystery surrounding the sci-fi/horror series STRANGER THINGS is why, despite the show’s accolades and fervent fan base, Netflix has – as of this writing – yet to officially announce a second season. But don’t worry, Strangers… the producers of the show already have big plans.
STRANGER THINGS was created by The Duffer Brothers (HIDDEN) who, without giving anything away, didn’t exactly wrap up all of the loose ends at the end of Season 1. While some had speculated that the second season of STRANGER THINGS could have told a new story, following the same format as AMERICAN HORROR STORY, Matt Duffer has told IGN that “if we do get to go back, it’s not a second season as much as a sequel.”
Ross Duffer also revealed that they have a “30-page document” about the Upside-Down, a mysterious place that proves very important to the story of STRANGER THINGS, but which doesn’t get explained in great detail over the course of season one. “If people respond to this show and we get to continue this story — we had those initial discussions of where we might go with it. If there was going to be a season two, we would reveal more of that 30 page document, but we’d still want to keep it from the point of view of our original characters,” Ross told Variety.
Will STRANGER THINGS get a second season? We think it’s a safe bet, but there’s one thing we do know for sure…
STRANGER THINGS is Getting a Soundtrack
One of the most popular elements of the already pretty danged popular show is the music, which features a John Carpenter-inspired synth score and a soundtrack of hit songs from the 1980s.
You can already listen to those songs on Spotify but what about that awesome score? Well, it was provided by Austin-based musicians Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, who form the band S U R V I V E, and their contributions to STRANGER THINGS will be released in the near future, as recently announced on the show’s Facebook page.
So save your money and get ready to creep out your friends: STRANGER THINGS is coming to a music player near you!
PHANTASM: RAVAGER is Coming to Theaters (and It’s Bringing PHANTASM With It)
The long, long, LONG-awaited fifth film in the PHANTASM series has been reportedly been finished for a while now, many fans of this psychedelic horror series wonder just where the hell it was and when the hell it was coming out. So those fans are probably going to be pretty pumped to learn that PHANTASM: RAVAGER officially going to premiere on October 7, 2016 in both theaters and on Digital HD. (Source: EW)
What’s more, the film will be preceded by the re-release of Don Coscarelli’s original PHANTASM, which has been completely restored (thanks in large part to mega-fan J.J. Abrams, the director of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS). The first film will be presented as PHANTASM: REMASTERED on September 24, 2016 as part of the first-ever Art House Theater Day.
The PHANTASM series, for those who don’t know, is exceptionally hard to explain. Suffice it to say it’s the story of a young boy who discovers a surreal plot unfolding at his local cemetery, where a “Tall Man” (the late Angus Scrimm) has been doing unnatural things to corpses. The series featured a floating metal ball that burrowed into the heads of its victims, an image that would become a calling card for the PHANTASM franchise.
Little is known about the plot to PHANTASM: RAVAGER, but it looks like we don’t have to wait much longer to find out for ourselves!
Chris Evans… is… JEKYLL!
Captain America is going bad in JEKYLL, a feature film adaptation of the hit BBC mini-series that took Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic horror story – about a scientist who tried to split his good and evil natures, and wound up transforming periodically into a sadistic monster – and moved it into the present day. (Source: Deadline)
Lionsgate is currently in talks with Chris Evans (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) to take over the title role, previously played in the mini-series by James Nesbitt (THE HOBBIT). The writing team of Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry – who also wrote the script for Adam Wingard’s upcoming DEATH NOTE remake – have provided the screenplay, based on the previous work by Steven Moffat (SHERLOCK), and of course the original novella.
The excellent mini-series JEKYLL was more than a remake, it was a strange sequel that imagined a descendant of the novel’s protagonist following in his family’s footsteps. Unexpected twists and weird moral compromise abounded in JEKYLL, making it a creepy treat for horror fans.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s original novella STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE was originally published in 1886 and has been the source of many popular horror films in the century that followed (and beyond). Russell Crowe is also set to play the character in Universal’s upcoming shared universe of monster movies.
New Line Cinema Green Lights LIGHTS OUT 2
The hit new horror thriller LIGHTS OUT may not have debuted at #1 at the box office, but it’s already made more than $38 million off of its $4.9 million budget and that’s nothing to scoff at. So it only makes sense that New Line Cinema would strike while the iron is hot and green light a sequel right away. (Source: Deadline)
David F. Sandberg, who directed LIGHTS OUT and the original short film on which it was based, will be back for the follow-up, as will screenwriter Eric Heisserer (FINAL DESTINATION 5), who scripted the successful feature. The film was about a family haunted by mental illness, personified by a demonic presence that can only affect the world around it when the lights are off. No word yet on whether the cast of LIGHTS OUT will return for the sequel, but given the way the film ended, it could theoretically go either way.
David F. Sandberg is currently hard at work directing the sequel to the killer doll movie ANNABELLE, and says he is in talks with New Line Cinema to adapt another of his earlier shorts to the big screen in the future.
Matt Damon Protects China from Monsters in THE GREAT WALL
When we heard that celebrated actor Matt Damon (GOOD WILL HUNTING, THE MARTIAN) was teaming up with legendary filmmaker Zhang Yimou (HERO, RAISE THE RED LANTERN) we didn’t think they’d be making a big budget monster movie, but it looks like that’s what we’ve got anyway.
The first trailer for THE GREAT WALL shows Matt Damon atop The Great Wall of China, fighting giant beasts. It’s a cool idea but it’s hard to get past the teaser’s title cards, which ask “What were they trying to keep out?” even though anybody with an even passing familiarity with world history knows the correct answer is “nomads,” who probably weren’t rampaging hell beasts but were probably a big enough problem in their own right to justify making a movie about them.
In any case, THE GREAT WALL is a fanciful idea for an action/horror movie, and you can get your first look in the trailer above. The film arrives in theaters in China in December, 2016 and in the United States on February 17, 2017.