We’re back, and we’re just as scary as ever. After taking the week off to preview all the horrifying new films at the Toronto International Film Festival it’s time to delve right back into the world of disturbing new announcements, with casting news, cult movie remakes, unexpected franchise rebirths and a couple of creepy new trailers for you to enjoy.
Let’s get cracking!
Benicio Del Toro vs. THE PREDATOR
The PREDATOR franchise is back, and it’s coming back with a touch of class. THE NICE GUYS filmmaker Shane Black is directing the next film in the beloved sci-fi franchise, co-writing the script with his MONSTER SQUAD director Fred Dekker, and now it appears they’re bringing an Oscar-winning actor with them.
Benicio Del Toro is currently in talks to star in THE PREDATOR, making this the latest in a series of genre films from the star of TRAFFIC and 21 GRAMS. After appearing as the white-hairing Collector in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Benicio Del Toro also signed up to co-star in STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII. (Source: Deadline)
Benicio Del Toro wouldn’t be the first Oscar-winning actor to go toe-to-toe with the species of alien hunters. That honor goes to Adrien Brody, who got totally ripped to play a mercenary hunted by the title monsters in Nimrod Antal’s PREDATORS.
THE PREDATOR is scheduled to hit theaters on February 9, 2018.
The TOXIC AVENGER Remake, Now With More SAUSAGE
The second-or-third most recognizable mutated rage monster in popular culture is returning to theaters, and he’s bringing the co-director of the lewd CG-animated comedy SAUSAGE PARTY with him.
Conrad Vernon, who also co-directed SHREK 2 and MONSTERS VS. ALIENS, has been attached to direct the remake of THE TOXIC AVENGER. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, who created the TOXIC AVENGER franchise for indie iconoclast production company Troma, will help executive produce the film. The screenplay is being written by Mike Arnold (ARCHER) and Chris Poole (THE GRACKLE). (Source: Variety)
A big budget TOXIC AVENGER remake (or at least, big budget for a TOXIC AVENGER movie) has been in development for years, most recently under HOT TUB TIME MACHINE director Steve Pink. His version of the story would have featured a character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger who trained Toxie, a nerd transformed by toxic waste into a heroic monster who cannot resist his urge to kill evildoers. It’s unknown as to whether any aspects of Steve Pink’s TOXIC AVENGER remake will cross over into Conrad Vernon’s film.
Cailee Spaeny Takes the Lead in PACIFIC RIM Sequel
Fans of PACIFIC RIM may or may not be rejoicing lately. The sequel to the cult hit kaiju movie is racing through development more quickly than any of the previous attempts to get it off the ground, but some sacrifices appear to have been made along the way. Steven S. DeKnight will direct the film instead of Guillermo Del Toro, John Boyega will star instead of Charlie Hunnam, and now newcomer Cailee Spaeny has taken the “female lead,” which seems to imply that fan favorite character Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kikuchi) is either not in the film or that she won’t get very much screen time. (Source: Variety)
Details about the plot of PACIFIC RIM 2 (sometimes called PACIFIC RIM: MAELSTROM) are relatively scarce, although we do know that John Boyega will play the son of Stacker Pentecost, played by Idris Elba in the original, and that Scott Eastwood (SUICIDE SQUAD) will co-star as well.
The PACIFIC RIM sequel will be Cailee Spaeny’s biggest role to date, after co-starring in the award-winning short film COUNTING TO 1000 and playing a cashier in the upcoming drama THE SHOES. Her character’s name and origin have yet to be revealed.
Dax Shepard Will Co-Direct SCOOBY-DOO
Actor/comedian Dax Shepard may have got his start on the MTV reality series PUNK’D, but this is no prank: he’s signed on to co-direct and co-write the newest SCOOBY-DOO movie for Warner Bros. (Source: Variety)
The film, which was previously announced under the title S.C.O.O.B. (and we can’t wait to find out what that acronym stands for), will be a 3D animated feature co-directed by Tony Cervone (THE LOONEY TUNES SHOW) and co-written by Matt Lieberman, who is also attached to write the SHORT CIRCUIT remake.
SCOOBY-DOO, S.C.O.O.B. or whatever the heck it ends up being called is the latest in a line of increasingly high profile directorial projects for Dax Shepard, who previously helmed the indie comedies BROTHER’S JUSTICE and HIT AND RUN, and who also wrote and directed the upcoming feature film version of the popular 1970s television series CHiPS.
What the Heck is RE-ANIMATOR: EVOLUTION?
It’s been years since we’ve heard any serious news about the RE-ANIMATOR franchise. The original 1985 horror classic, based on a short story by the legendary H.P. Lovecraft, told the story of Herbert West, an ambitious medical student who develops a serum that brings corpses back to life, with unpredictable results. That first film became one of the most acclaimed and popular splatterhouse movies of the 1980s, and eventually it spawned two sequels, BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (1989) and BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR (2003). But despite plans to produce a film called HOUSE OF RE-ANIMATOR – in which West plies his unique trade for politicians in Washington D.C., the franchise has remained dormant for nearly a decade-and-a-half.
Until this week? Maybe? The upcoming horror thriller ANTIHUMAN – about a scientist who brings his wife back from the dead, accidentally activating mysterious powers – has changed its name to RE-ANIMATOR: EVOLUTION. The production company Isle Empire Pictures describes the film as being “adapted from H.P. LOVECRAFT’S: HERBERT WEST-REANIMATOR” and clarifies that the protagonist is indeed Herbert West, even though his story appears to bear little resemblance to the events of the original tale… apart from the re-animating, that is. (Source: Isle Epic Pictures)
Serge Levin will direct RE-ANIMATOR EVOLUTION, which he co-wrote with actor Johnathan Schaech (THE WASHINGTONIANS), who has been cast as Herbert West. Genre mainstays Brad Dourif (CHILD’S PLAY) and Lin Shaye (INSIDIOUS) have also been cast. The film is reportedly scheduled for release in 2017.
Whether RE-ANIMATOR: EVOLUTION has any tangible connection to the previous franchise remains to be seen. The works of H.P. Lovecraft are up-for-grabs for filmmakers, meaning that the makers of this new film didn’t necessarily have to involve the makers of the original films in order to adapt elements of the original story.
RESIDENT EVIL VII: BIOHAZARD Meets TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
The marketing campaign for the newest RESIDENT EVIL video game seems desperate to reassure us that the franchise is returning to its original, relatively scary roots. The trailers and the demo for RESIDENT EVIL VII: BIOHAZARD have all been focusing more on atmospherics and horror than action and violence, and this week’s latest trailer is no exception.
Watch the new RESIDENT EVIL trailer above to see just how this series has moved into TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE territory, and be on the lookout for the game’s release on January 24th, 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Creepy Dolls Are Creepy in the ANNABELLE 2 Teaser
The sequel to ANNABELLE, itself a prequel to the hit horror franchise THE CONJURING, is skittering its way into theaters on May 19, 2017. Directed by David F. Sandberg (LIGHTS OUT), the film appears to contradict previous continuity, establishing the evil doll as the creation of a deceased dollmaker who sets her evil sights on an orphanage run by Mirando Otto (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), but the new trailer is impressively evocative.
Many fans were disappointed by the first ANNABELLE movie. We’ll find out if ANNABELLE 2 breaks the curse next year, but for now, check out the teaser above!