Diane, I’m holding in my hands a small box of chocolate bunnies… and this week’s Horror News Rundown! As always, the world of horror is ever spinning, ever expanding, and adding new terrible wonders on a damn near daily basis. Join us as we run down the biggest news stories of the week, highlighting exciting developments in horror movies, horror television, horror video games, and yes, even children’s books!
AMC Has Already Committed to THE WALKING DEAD: Season 8
It’s news that should surprise absolutely nobody: the hit horror series THE WALKING DEAD, which debuts its seventh season on Sunday, October 23rd, is coming back for more.
AMC didn’t wait to see how fans would respond to the resolution of last season’s cliffhanger, which saw the introduction of a new villain – Negan, played by genre stalwart Jeffrey Dean Morgan (WATCHMEN) – and the death of at least one character. The thing is, the audience doesn’t even know who died. It’s a mystery that’s kept fans talking for months, and that kind of buzz is worth its weight in gold to any network.
THE WALKING DEAD will debut its eighth season in late 2017, starting with the show’s 100th episode. (Source: Coming Soon)
Stephen King’s First Children’s Book Looks Terrifying
We’ve officially lost track of how many novels and short stories acclaimed horror author Stephen King has written over the last four decades. It may even total in the millions (but then again, it probably doesn’t). But somehow the master of horror has never published a picture book for children, and we’re not entirely sure he’s started now.
CHARLIE THE CHOO-CHOO is only technically written by Stephen King. It will be published in November under the pseudonym “Beryl Evans,” a character readers will recognize from the DARK TOWER series. The cover of the book boasts a quote from King that playfully claims, “If I were ever to write a children’s book, it would be exactly like this!” (Source: Coming Soon)
The story appears to have superficial similarities to THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE, but the malevolent art work and reminders of life’s great tragedies (pictured above) maybe mean that CHARLIE THE CHOO-CHOO isn’t officially intended for all ages.
CHARLIE THE CHOO-CHOO is available for pre-order on Amazon and is currently scheduled to be released on November 22, 2016.
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME Delayed to a Distant Friday
If you’ve been looking forward to the new FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME, you’re not alone. The upcoming video game boasts what looks like a killer multiplayer experience. So killer, in fact, that it’s being expanded to a single player campaign, and that takes time. More time than you’d probably like.
On the game’s Kickstarter page, Gun Media announced that the game is being pushed back to 2017. The multiplayer beta will still be available this fall, but the official multiplayer release has been delayed to spring of 2017, with the single player expected later that summer.
With more content comes, predictably, a higher price. But if you’re already pre-ordered FRIDAY THE 13TH, before the news of the expansion, you don’t have to pay more than you already have. All new customers will be expected to pay $40 for the digital release, as opposed to the original $30. The price for the physical media remains the same at $60.
Delays are always disappointing but at least it’s faithful to the feature film franchise, which has been dealing with constant delays for many years and hasn’t released a new movie since 2009.
Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood Will Play GERALD’S GAME
Mike Flanagan is earning rave reviews, again, for his new horror prequel OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL, and he doesn’t seem to be taking a break. The director of OCULUS is now filming the Stephen King adaptation GERALD’S GAME, with recently announced cast members Carla Gugino (WAYWARD PINES) and Bruce Greenwood (MAD MEN). (Source: Deadline)
GERALD’S GAME is the story of a married couple, Gerald and Jessie, who retreat to a cabin in the woods to spice up their love life. Tragedy strikes and Jessie is trapped handcuffed to a bed, dealing with horrible memories, a stray dog and possibly something even more sinister. The film is set to be released by Netflix, which also distributed Flanagan’s acclaimed thriller HUSH earlier this year.
GODZILLA 2 Goes TRICK ‘R TREAT With Michael Dougherty
While audiences go gaga for SHIN GODZILLA, the new and remarkable kaiju import from Japan, Hollywood continues to develop their sequel to the 2014 reboot of GODZILLA. The film is still expected to arrive in 2019 but all the focus lately has been on the film KONG: SKULL ISLAND, which sets the two iconic monsters up for a showdown in a future film.
This week brought with it the news that GODZILLA 2 is still in development, and currently being rewritten by Michael Dougherty, whom horror fans know from his holiday fright fests TRICK ‘R TREAT and KRAMPUS. Dougherty will co-write GODZILLA 2 with his KRAMPUS collaborator Zach Shields. (Source: Variety)
Both GODZILLA and KONG are being developed by Legendary, which Variety says might be developing a writer’s room to help bring GODZILLA VS. KONG to life for a 2020 release.
PHANTASM and PHANTASM: RAVAGER Head to Blu-ray in December
The first and final installments of Don Coscarelli’s unforgettable PHANTASM franchise will be released in high-definition Blu-ray later this year, after an extensive 4K restoration of the original classic and a nearly two-decade path to theaters for PHANTASM: RAVAGER. (Source: Diabolik DVD)
The nightmarish horror movies experienced a resurgence over the last year, after STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS filmmaker J.J. Abrams declared the original PHANTASM a personal favorite and named one of that blockbuster’s new villains, Captain Phasma, after the film and styled her stormtrooper outfit after the menacing floating spheres from Coscarelli’s horror classic.
PHANTASM: RAVAGER concludes the story of the franchise, but in typical PHANTASM fashion every ending is a new beginning and every answer leaves us with more unanswerable questions.
PHANTASM and PHANTASM: RAVAGER hit Blu-ray on December 6, courtesy of Well Go U.S.A.
The Cast of TWIN PEAKS Returns in New Video Preview
Fans of TWIN PEAKS have been waiting more than two decades to return to the sleepy town where evil dwells, and they’re finally getting their wish in 2017, with the original cast and original creators, courtesy of Showtime. Details have been hard to come by, but the cast did reunite for a preview video this week, talking about their thoughts on the new series and where the story is taking us. Check it out above and remember, the owls are not what they seem. Is this series?