Another week, another Horror News Rundown, and this particular installment is lousy with exciting television announcements. That’s because the first few weeks of the year coincide with the Television Critics Association press tour, where networks are revealing their big plans for future shows, contemporary favorites and even returning classics you know, love, and totally watched way back in the 1990s.
So be on the lookout for updates on TWIN PEAKS, THE X-FILES, CONSTANTINE, AMERICAN HORROR STORY and even a few stories about upcoming horror movies that may have slipped through the cracks this week. It’s a horrifying slate of horror news, and it’s horror-ing its way to you right now!
TWIN PEAKS Returns on May 21, 2017
Our long nightmare is over: TWIN PEAKS, the horrifying soap opera sensation that took the world by storm back in the early 1990s, is finally coming back as an 18-hour limited series on May 21, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT on Showtime. The first new episode is a two-hour premiere, and Showtime subscribers will also have access to the film’s third and fourth hours immediately afterwards on Showtime Anywhere or Showtime On Demand. [Source:ComingSoon.net]
Those third and fourth hours will air one week later on the Showtime network, which will then follow a more traditional schedule, releasing one new hour of TWIN PEAKS every week until the (pretty darned long) limited series concludes. Showtime has also clarified that the entire series has been directed by David Lynch, who hasn’t directed a feature film since INLAND EMPIRE in 2006.
Whether it lives up to the hype or just turns out to be another weird-ass experiment from the master of weird-ass experiments, TWIN PEAKS is bound to be one of the pop culture events of the year. Mark your calendars accordingly, and don’t forget to set out the comically large stacks of donuts.
THE X-FILES (Probably) Returns in 2018
Speaking of the long-awaited return of cult classic horror shows from the 1990s (gosh but that’s specific), THE X-FILES finally came back to television in early 2016 with six episodes. Some of those new installments thrilled the fans, others seemed like too little too late, but even casual fans of the series were probably concerned that the epic cliffhanger wouldn’t be finished anytime soon, because Fox hadn’t officially confirmed that THE X-FILES would even return.
Until this week… kind of. At the Television Critic’s Association (TCA) press tour, Fox president David Madden said they plan “to have an announcement shortly.” The negotiations are “complex,” and understandably so. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny (and everybody else) will need to clear their schedules at exactly the same time in order to make this thing work, after all, and they’re both pretty busy.
David Madden told Entertainment Weekly that the plan was to make an announcement at TCA but the deal hadn’t been finalized. THE X-FILES is expected to come back to television in 2018 with a new season that’s longer than six episodes (thank goodness) but probably not as long as a typical season of network television, i.e. 22 episodes.
CONSTANTINE Returns… in Animation
Despite the impressive success of live-action superhero shows like ARROW, THE FLASH and SUPERGIRL, the attempt to turn John Constantine – a freelance exorcist/magician, from the classic DC comic book HELLBLAZER – into a hit series starring Matt Ryan was short-lived. CONSTANTINE aired for only 14 episodes between 2014 and 2015, and fans have been eager for the character to come back to television ever since.
And finally, it looks like those fans will get their wish… sort of. CONSTANTINE will indeed return to television, but not in an hour-long live-action adventure series. Instead, Matt Ryan will voice the character in an animated series on CW SEED – The CW network’s online component – in 2018. [Source: Coming Soon]
It makes sense for CONSTANTINE, which originally aired on NBC, to move to The CW. The character made a cameo appearance on ARROW and has been referenced several times since. Matt Ryan also voices the character in the upcoming DC Animated film JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, which unites many of the more popular supernatural characters in DC Comics.
The animated version of CONSTANTINE is expected to run for five-to-six episodes, with each episode running for ten minutes.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY Isn’t Going Anywhere (for a LONG Time)
Although networks sometimes cancel fan favorite shows too soon (see above), sometimes they do recognize a good thing when they’ve got it. That’s why FX has announced that the immensely popular series AMERICAN HORROR STORY will continue for at least two more seasons. [Source: Coming Soon]
AMERICAN HORROR STORY was already scheduled to continue for a seventh season in 2017, but the new plan is for the anthology show – in which the same actors play different characters in different, season-long horror stories – to keep running for an eighth season and a ninth season as well.
As usual, co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have yet to reveal what the premise will be for future installments, but if previous seasons are any indication, the next three seasons will probably take place in America, be horrifying, and also be stories. We’d be willing to put good money on that.
FRIGHT NIGHT Will “Come Back to Papa” in 2019
We like to think of filmmaking as an art form, and it most certainly is, but it’s also a business and sometimes the stories people tell in the medium get taken away from them due to legalities of copyright laws. Fortunately, sometimes those artists actually get their creations back. And that appears to be happening in the near future with Tom Holland, the writer and director of the original FRIGHT NIGHT.
Citing the Copyright Act of 1976, Tom Holland tweeted this week: “2 more years and the ‘Fright Night’ copyrights come back to papa. Oh the things I’m going to do 🙂 #CopyrightActOf1976”
That’s still an awful long time to wait, but it sounds like Tom Holland might have new plans for his creation ready to go. The original FRIGHT NIGHT came out in 1985, and was about a teenaged boy who believes his next door neighbor is a vampire. It was followed by an underrated sequel in 1988, and underrated remake in 2011, and a sequel to that remake in 2013 (which I didn’t see and cannot attest to).
Tom Holland’s situation is not unique, and may start affecting other filmmakers in the near future: the rights to the TERMINATOR franchise will revert to filmmaker James Cameron in 2019 as well.
It’s Time for Another HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL Remake
Tucked away in an announcement for one movie this week was the unexpected announcement of a second. Deadline reported this week that the writing team of Jason Pagan and Andrew Dutschman are gearing up to write a new film called UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENON, which may set up a new series of features with similar themes. That would have been newsworthy in-and-of itself.
But down at the bottom of the article is the news that Jason Pagan and Andrew Dutschman are also hard at work on yet another remake of HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL for Warner Bros., and that’s unexpected too. The original William Castle thriller stars Vincent Price as a millionaire who offers party guests cash prizes to stay in a haunted house for the evening, and it is considered a classic of the haunted house genre. The film was remade – and quite entertainingly so – in 1999, with Geoffrey Rush taking over the Vincent Price role. That film also led to a straight-to-video sequel called RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL in 2007 (which I didn’t see and cannot attest to).
We’ll be back with more details on THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL when there is more to tell. But since the studio kind of neglected to make a big to-do about the development phase, who knows if they’ll let anyone know when it’s actually being made?