Monday, August 25, 2014

Stephen King's THE STAND Gets the Big Screen Treatment

Recently I've had some time on my hands, so I've decided to go through my never ending stack of unread Stephen King novels and start powering through them. The one on top, The Stand, had been sitting there for some time as it just never sounded all that interesting to me. Oh was I wrong, I now consider that book to be one of my all time King favorites, and I was very excited to read this tidbit of news that was apparently released a few days ago.

I had heard rumors of a motion picture adaptation, but it all seemed to be a bunch of whisper. Apparently not. This shit is goin' down, and Josh Boone is leading the way. While I don't know enough about Boone to say that he would be wrong for the project, his ideas for casting are making my knees weak and that alone makes me excited for what else he might have in store for us.

It was originally reported that Matthew McConaughey was being pursued to play the role of Randall Flagg. In more recent news, later the same day, Josh Boone took to Twitter to present a very tasty bit of news refuting that.
Holy shit. I don't even know what to say.

When I first read that McConaughey was being considered for Flagg, my thoughts immediately were "That's interesting, he may be a better Stu, but he would still be phenomenal Flagg". Seeing Boone's tweet made me want to cry.

McConaughey would not only be a magnificent Stu Redman, but Bale as Flagg, I never would've thought of and I love it. While the miniseries was fun, it neutered a large part of the fear that King's novel goes into gory detail to impart. It's understandable, but this is being said to be a 3 hour, R-rated, epic saga closely mimicking the vibe of the novel. Yes and YES.

Now I pray to the Gods of Hollywood that this all works out.

WTF - Rob Zombie Wishes (And Gets Denied) to Return to The Firefly Clan

In a bit of shocking non-news, Fangoria has reported a very interesting tidbit from a recent interview with Rob Zombie. 

The famous shock rocker-turned-genre director has created a very defined rift in the horror community. Some hate him, some love him, I happen to be a part of the former camp, but very few can deny the impact that his first foray into the world of directing made on the horror world. House of 1000 Corpses and more importantly The Devil's Rejects, has become one of the biggest cult hits in the horror world in recent years. The Firefly Clan, one of the very few original and truly terrifying creations in recent times, have become fan favorites, and we all thought that we had seen the last of them in what I believe to be one of the most amazing horror film endings of all time. 

Apparently not, atleast not due to the reasons that we had originally assumed. Zombie loves them as much as we do, and he not only wants to return to their story but he has an idea already outlined. The only problem? Lionsgate won't let him. Check this out: 
“I’ve always thought I’d like to make another movie, because I love the characters, and I have an idea I think is solid for a third one – an idea that would make sense. The problem is, I don’t own the characters now. They’re owned by Lionsgate, and they just don’t have any desire to do anything. So it isn’t me not doing it because I don’t want to; I don’t have the ability to get it done.”
It's not only shocking to me that Zombie wants to return to the characters, but that he doesn't own them. This isn't exactly an exception, but they are one of Zombie's best creations and the fact that he doesn't own the rights to the characters took me by complete surprise. What's even more suprising to me is that Lionsgate doesn't want to do anything more with the characters! In my opinion, another chapter in the Firefly saga would sell like hotcakes, if only they put one out. 

What do you think? Am I crazy, and blinded by my love for the characters, or are you on my side? Sound off below!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

SCREAM Casting News - Changes and Additions To The New Woodsboro Line Up

For those of you who may not know, the Scream franchise is headed to the small screen for a brand new series on MTV as opposed to a much anticipated Scream 5. I haven't reported too much on it, as I've been hoping that self inflicted ostrich-syndrome would make it go away, but alas, it has not. 

News has begun to trickle in at a heavier rate over the past few months, we've learned that Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven hate each other, so there's no hope that Williamson will have anything to do with the series. We also learned that Williamson not only has a script for a Scream 5, but a Scream 6 as well, as he had written Scream 4 to be the start of a "new trilogy". This information is really just salt in the wound knowing that it will probably never happen as the Weinstein's aren't too keen on working with Williamson again either. 

Regardless, Scream: The Series is happening, and there's been casting news.

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Willa Fitzgerald will star as Emma Duvall, a classic beauty whose looks and popularity hide a natural shyness and intellectual nature. Her new life with the “in crowd” leaves her estranged from her childhood best friend, Audrey. Emma is the lead in MTV’s Scream take and bears a resemblance to Neve Campbell’s tortured high school student Sidney Prescott in the 1996 feature film.
Bex Taylor-Klaus, who has a recurring role on The CW’s Arrow as DC Comics character Sin and whose credits also include The Killing and House of Lies, will replace Amy Forsyth in role of Audrey, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor. She’s described as an artsy loner who aspires to be a filmmaker.
Bobby Campo (The Final Destination) will recur as Seth Branson, a hot English teacher at Lakewood High who has an easy charm and is clearly one of the “cool” teachers, who can go with it if a lesson plan gets a little off-track.
Connor Weil (Sharknado) will be a series regular and portray Will Belmont, an all-American high school basketball player who adores his girlfriend, Emma (Fitzgerald).
Joel Gretsch (Witches of East EndVThe 4400) is set as Sheriff Clark Hudson, a good guy and good sheriff who is father to Kieran (Amadeus Serafini). David Arquette famously portrayed the lovable sheriff in Williamson’s features.
Now, I love Arrow, it's currently one of my favorite shows at the moment, but I don't know how I feel about Taylor-Klaus as she plays one of the few "replaceable characters" on the show, in my opinion. We'll have to wait and see. The two factors that come into play the most for me on this one are that there has been talk of bringing a supernatural element into play in the series (if Ghost Face is an actual ghost...) and the fact that Teen Wolf, the current major hit on MTV, is one of the worst shows I've seen in years. It can barely be called horror, it's just... it's bad. 
What do you think? Yay or nay on the Scream front?

Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) - A Review

One of the things that I look forward to the most throughout the year, are DC Comic's animated films featuring Batman. They are almost always phenomenal, and it's a very wonderful break from the Nolanverse and the incessent shouting of "WHY SO SERIOUS" from hordes of fanboys. While the live action Batfilms have their high points, and certainly their lows, nothing compares to the DC Entertainment features. They are not only incredibly comic accurate, but they're just a lot more fun in general. 

Released this week, and previewed last month at Comic Con, Batman: Assault on Arkham is the latest addition to the DC animated franchise and while it differs greatly from previous Batman films it is an extremely fun, adrenaline packed and often hilarious take on a new view of the Bats. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Leatherface Is Back... Yet Again

Well, it appears that another Chainsaw film is in the works. Bloody-Disgusting broke the news days ago, and it was confirmed, that we will now be seeing a franchise wide prequel depicting the events that take place before the events of the Hooper/Henkel classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It's being described as taking place during Leatherface's "teen years". 

It was originally stated in a BD exclusive that it would take place in between Hooper's original and the travesty that was Texas Chainsaw 3D, but now it appears that it will be taking place before Hooper's original. Confusing, I know.

I don't know what you guys are thinking about this, but after seeing TC3D, I'm not exactly excited about seeing Leatherface return quite so soon. Especially being that the same folks are still behind it. 

What say all of you?

Horror Game SILENT HILLS Conjures Up Hilarious Scares in Japan

If you are into horror gaming, it appears that Hideo Kajima has some surprises in store for you. Widely believed to have been working on a new project entitled P.T., it was revealed that he fooled us all and if this teaser is any indicator, it's looking to be awesome.

Entitled Silent Hills, Kajima has collaborated with Guillermo del Toro and Walking Dead star Norman Reedus to deliver a product that they promise will make us "shit our pants". Below you'll find a teaser which features a variety of sweet little Japanese ladies who appear to be "shitting their pants", and it's the funniest thing I've seen in weeks.

The demo is available for free download on the Playstation store, and this has left me hoping that it will be available on PC as well.

Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Marilyn Burns (Sally Hardesty): May 7th, 1949 - August 5th, 2014

Some sad news hit the horror community last week. I was pretty shocked when I heard the news, and have wanted to wait until I could really take the time to sort my thoughts and speak my piece regarding the matter.

Marilyn Burns is oft overlooked in favor of Jamie Lee Curtis when the term Scream Queen is brought up in conversation amongst horror fans and non-fans alike. She was the original surviving lady, the original scream queen and she helped stoke the fire that would eventually become the raging love of horror that I have today.

Her passing is untimely, she was only 65 years old, and it's made even sadder by the fact that we are now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the film that gave her the greatest role that she would ever play, that of Sally Hardesty in Tobe Hooper's seminal The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. She helped create one of the greatest horror archetypes, that of the strong woman who defies the odds and bests the maniac on her trail. Marilyn endured sweltering summer heat, the dangers of the chainsaw and endless bruises, scrapes and injuries that went along with the filming of TCM. Even the fake blood used was a painful endeavor to remove once the cameras stopped rolling.

While the film ended up hurting her career in terms of mainstream success, she starred and co-starred in several other films throughout the years, including Eaten Alive, Kiss Daddy Goodbye, Texas Chainsaw 3D and The Butcher Boys. She also took on the role of Linda Kasabian, real life member of the Manson family, in the 1976 television mini-series Helter Skelter.

While she focused on stage acting in the later years of her life, horror fans the world over would still flock to appearances she made at various horror conventions in order to snap a picture with the iconic scream queen herself.

While it's very sad that we had to lose Marilyn at such a young age, it is important that we take the time to celebrate her life and the monumental impact that she had on the genre that we all love so much. If it weren't for people like her, the horror landscape would be a very different beast than what we have today.

RIP Marilyn Burns, May 7th, 1949 – August 5th, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

PET SEMATARY Script To Be Finalized By Summer's End

According to Dread Central, another writer has stepped up to the plate to take on the screenplay for Stephen King's acclaimed novel Pet Sematary

Word of the remake began circulating some time ago, there has been radio silence since then, but now we have some definitive word from Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train), who has been working on the script with director Juan Carlos Fresnadilla (28 Weeks Later). 
“Paramount had a script from Matt Greenburg and then brought Juan Carlos on, and they were looking to do some work on the script, and then I came in. Juan Carlos and I collaborated on a new outline for the film, Paramount loved our pitch, and I’ve been writing the first draft of the script. It’s very exciting.”
Commenting on the original 1989 horror classic, which was directed by Mary Lambert and based on the novel of the same name by horror legend Stephen King, “The original has a very special place in my heart,” said Buhler. “The film fits perfectly in the time period [in which it was produced], and the source material is one of the Stephen King books that I read as a teenager that made me flip out, and I’ve read it more than once since then. It’s a fantastic book and a fantastic story.”
With the narrative revolving around a family that moves into a new home next to a cemetery with powers that allow the creatures buried in it to come back from the dead, Buhler stated of his approach to the remake, “Now that I’m a father and I have a six-year old and a two-year old, all of the horror within that story that comes from losing a child is suddenly very real and tangible and utterly tragic [to me]. I think the one element that we are trying to bring to this version of Pet Sematary is a sense of truth and honesty in the horror and really take it back to the original material. I think that in the 80’s movie it’s a little campy in places, and we are trying to get away from all of that and really get back to the core of the story, which is that of the family dealing with grief from the loss of their child and the horror of breaking the laws of nature as a result of that. Juan Carlos in particular is very focused on the emotional elements and how they could be represented in a visual context that is compelling.”
“We are being very respectful to the book,” he continued, “and we are not tying ourselves to anything in the first two films at all. We are [also] bringing in some fresh elements that speak to the spirit of the story that aren’t in either one.”
“If you look at the core of it, of what’s going on with the family, it’s an absolutely disturbing story,” Buhler offered. “I think the heart of the story has to do with Louis and his relationship with his kids and grappling with that dilemma when kids ask you what happens when you die and what you believe in. It deals with these big questions in such a personal way, and that is classic Stephen King. They are huge ideas, but they are told through a very identifiable, close-knit family unit, and that’s so powerful so we are just immersing ourselves in that – the loss, the grief, and the horrific results of people making really, really bad decisions.”
As for the tone of the script as it pertains to the eventual film’s intended rating, “I try not to get too hung up on that while writing, especially because this isn’t like a Texas Chainsaw where there’s going to be a lot of ripped open abdomens and people chewing on intestines or anything like that,” he said. “It’s already going to exist somewhere on that line between R and PG-13. If the studio feels like they need to market it as PG-13, then it will be the most hardcore PG-13 movie you could get away with. There are a couple of deaths, but with this one the horror is a little more atmospheric. The big concern of course is that you are killing children, which studios are always loathe to do, but it’s a King story and that’s at the center of it so Paramount knows what they are getting into. There’s no question that kids are gonna die.”
“We’ll be done with the first draft by the end of the summer,” Buhler said of the current status of Pet Sematary, which is being produced for Paramount by Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Mark Varhadian.
“Juan Carlos and I have been working very closely from the beginning so I think the process will be very quick. It’s not going to be one of those situations where there’s a script that the studio likes but then they bring on a director who has a bunch of new ideas and then it goes back into the scripting process for another six months. Because we are doing everything with the director from the beginning, hopefully we won’t be far from where we need to be [with the first draft] when we are done.”
As most of you are well aware of, I am one of the bigger King fans out there. In regards to Mary Lambert's 1989 vision of the source material, I think it's one of the worst things that has ever happened to King's work (and yes, I'm including all those mini-series i.e. The Stand, Stephen King's The Shining, etc.). However, I was excited when this project was first announced, although at the time Alexandre Aja was heavily rumored to take the directors chair. When Fresnadilla was announced as the director, my opinions became impartial, but after reading what Buhler has to say about it, my excitement is back. I think we may actually get a great remake out of this. I don't necesarilly hate remakes, I believe that some films should be remade and Lambert's original is at the top of my list. 

Crucify me, applaud me, do as you will, just sound off below! What do you think about this remake?