The 13th Floor

AMERICAN HORROR STORY, SUSPIRIA and HELLRAISER – This Week’s Horror News Rundown

We’re back! Did you miss us? The horror news isn’t going to rundown itself, you know, and after a week off (to get married, so I’m comfortable with my excuse) the horror stories have been propagating, giving birth to a heaving brood of exciting updates about popular television shows, classic films and upcoming franchise installments that might just kick ass.

Let’s not waste any more time. Let us run. Down.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY Crossovers Confirmed!

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The decision to tell Ryan Murphy’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY as a series of standalone seasons, each with its own storyline, timeline and characters, is still a novel one that most television networks would be loathe to try. But it’s paid off: the FX series remains one of the most talked about programs on television, and one of the reasons is because fans want to know what the next storyline will be, and whether all these disparate horror narratives will ever congeal into a single, Lovecraftian organism.

We’ve seen hints of a crossover before, but this week Ryan Murphy confirmed that real, tangible connections exist and that plans are underway to feature crossovers between AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ROANOKE and AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM (Source: Twitter), as well as between AMERICAN HORROR STORY: MURDER HOUSE and AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN (Source: TV Guide).

Ryan Murphy’s tweet on Halloween revealed that Lana Winters, the character played by AMERICAN HORROR STORY mainstay Sarah Paulson, is returning to the series this season on ROANOKE. But the crossover between MURDER HOUSE and COVEN might take up a whole season, as Murphy revealed on a panel last weekend. “It’s not going to be next season, but we are going to do a season that’s a crossover between MURDER HOUSE and COVEN together, which is very bizarre.”

Indeed, especially since Murphy also confirmed that characters from both pre-existing seasons would interact with each other, and since a number of characters from both MURDER HOUSE and COVEN were played by the same actors. Will anyone comment on the fact that Violet Harmon and Zoe Benson look exactly alike? It looks like we’ll find out in a year or two (or three).

THE DARK TOWER’s Erection Has Been Delayed

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The ambitious adaptation/sequel/reboot of Stephen King’s popular DARK TOWER novels was just too much movie to release in February. The epic fantasy adventure has been pushed all the way back to July 28, 2017. (Source: Coming Soon)

The first film in a proposed series, directed by Nikolaj Arcel (A ROYAL AFFAIR) and starring Idris Elba (LUTHER) and Matthew McConaughey (TRUE DETECTIVE), tells the story of a gunslinger pursuing the eponymous tower across a post-apocalyptic landscape. A tie-in television series has also been planned.

Conventional release calendars no longer apply in the contemporary landscape, and broadly appealing blockbusters – which used to almost exclusively come out during the summer season – are now debuting every single month of the year. As studios struggle to adapt to this new environment strange sacrifices have been made, including many of the most anticipated films of this past summer, many of which seriously underperformed at the box office.

Will THE DARK TOWER be better suited to the summer season? It’s the biggest release scheduled for July 28, but it’s small window of opportunity. One week later sees the release of ALIEN: COVENANT, which is targeted at a very similar demographic, so unless the new Ridley Scott sci-fi epic underwhelms that only leaves THE DARK TOWER a single week of free reign at the box office. (Relatively free reign: July also sees the premieres of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, but those will have already been out by a couple weeks by the time THE DARK TOWER gets released.)

Michael Fassbender Does Double Duty in ALIEN: COVENANT

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Speaking of ALIEN: COVENANT, we got some good news about Ridley Scott’s latest ALIEN prequel/PROMETHEUS sequel this week: Michael Fassbender will be playing not one, but two robots in the upcoming sci-fi/horror film. (Source: AVP Galaxy, via The Irish Times)

“I am allowed to say I am playing two robots – Walter and David,” Michael Fassbender revealed. “I think what’s great about it is that Ridley has gone back to the original DNA of ALIEN, the horror element of that. But is also has the scope and the scale of PROMETHEUS. Ridley has cut it already. He is a machine. He is an incredible human being and he was in such good form. He is such an imaginative and mischievous figure.”

David, of course, is the synthetic person that Michael Fassbender played over the course of PROMETHEUS. It would seem that Walter is a new character played by Fassbender, of the same model as David.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen multiple characters played by the same person in the ALIEN movies: Lance Henriksen played the android Bishop in ALIENS and ALIEN 3, as well as (allegedly) the android’s creator in ALIEN 3, and the founder of Weyland Enterprises in ALIEN VS. PREDATOR.

This would, however, be the first time any of those characters played by the same actor interacted with each other, which should be a hoot, especially with Michael Fassbender playing them. By now everybody knows that any movie is better with a Michael Fassbender in it. So the only way two Michael Fassbenders could possibly go wrong is if they somehow cancel each other out, or join forces to conquer the universe. (And even that might not be so bad.)

Olivia Munn vs. THE PREDATOR

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The Predator is coming, and Olivia Mann is going to do research on him. The X-MEN APOCALYPSE actor has just signed on to co-star in THE PREDATOR for director Shane Black (THE NICE GUYS). (Source: Hollywood Reporter)

Details about THE PREDATOR are scare but Hollywood Reporter claims that the upcoming film will put the intergalactic alien hunter in unfamiliar territory: suburbia. Boyd Holbrook (NARCOS) plays a “Special Forces commando” in the new sequel, while Olivia Munn plays a scientist who also gets involved. Shane Black has also revealed that the title, THE PREDATOR, has the word “the” in it for a reason, although what that reason would be we can only speculate about at the moment.

THE PREDATOR strikes back on February 9, 2018.

The STARSHIP TROOPERS Reboot Finds Some New Writers

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STARSHIP TROOPERS remains one of the most controversial films in geekdom, because although it is an undeniably vicious and insightful satire of militarism, the original Robert Heinlein novel was meant to be taken seriously. Many fans of the novel still take issue with Paul Verhoeven’s subversive take on the material, and have been eagerly awaiting a serious reboot for nearly two decades. (To be fair, the rest of us are content to merely love Verhoeven’s version.)

However, the writers that Columbia Pictures have tapped to write the new, and allegedly more straightforward adaptation of STARSHIP TROOPERS are best known for their more comical works. Mark Swift and Damian Shannon are writing the screenplay, after becoming best known for films like FREDDY VS. JASON and the upcoming comedic BAYWATCH movie. (Source: Hollywood Reporter)

Mark Swift and Damian Shannon are replacing the screenwriters previously attached to the project, Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, who had previously written scripts for X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and THOR.

Will going back to the original novel be a good idea for the STARSHIP TROOPERS franchise, or has the image of Heinlein’s military dictatorship been irrevocably changed by Paul Verhoeven’s self-reflexive critique? We may finally find out, if this reboot ever gets off the ground.

SUSPIRIA Returns in 4K!

The only thing more restored in 4K than the the last twelve minutes of SUSPIRIA… are the first 92! Wait, that doesn’t make sense anymore. Actually wait, that never made sense. But anyway, Dario Argento’s classic 1977 supernatural horror thriller SUSPIRIA has finally been remastered in 4K, but you can only see it in Italy (for now). (Source: Variety)

The restored version of SUSPIRIA will screen in theaters from January 30 through February 1 in its country of origin, as the production on the remake of SUSPIRIA continues in earnest. The remake, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Dakota Johnson (FIFTY SHADES OF GREY), Chloe Grace Moretz (CARRIE), Guadagnino’s frequent collaborator Tilda Swinton (DOCTOR STRANGE) and original SUSPIRIA star Jessica Harper is moving forward with a release planned later in 2017.

Actually, I spoke with Tilda Swinton recently about the SUSPIRIA remake for Crave, and she was quick to dispute the idea that the new film is even a remake. “We’re doing a cover, we’re not remaking [it] really. In fact there are significant differences in our screenplay already. So it’s just, we’re covering with different instruments I would say.”

HELLRAISER Returns!

As audiences wait, with varying degrees of patience, for the latest straight-to-video HELLRAISER sequel, Clive Barker’s Seraphim Inc. is moving forward with a project we can all get excited about: HELLRAISER ANTHOLOGY, a new graphic novel full of new stories about the HELLRAISER universe, from a diverse group of writers which includes – in the interest of full disclosure – Blumhouse’s own Rebekah McKendry and David McKendry.

While we don’t know much about the content of the book – because Rebekah won’t tell us, damn it – we do know that it’s schedule for release in the spring of 2017, and that Pinhead himself, Doug Bradley, did the narration for the announcement trailer, which you can watch above!

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