New Trailer & Poster: Friday The 13th

Friday The 13th is undoubtedly one of the biggest, most enduring and recognizable horror franchises in movie history. It all started with John Carpenter‘s seminal 1978 slasher Halloween (recently remade by Rob Zombie) which paved the way for the 1980 release of the original Friday The 13th. Directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller and Ron Kurz, the film was a big success (in no small part thanks to its tiny $700000 budget) and eleven movies later the producers decided it was time to reboot the franchise.

Enter Platinum Dunes, a production company headed by Michael Bay (director of Transformers), Brad Fuller and Andrew Form that specializes in horror movies (mainly remakes) much like the Joel Silver/Robert Zemeckis-headed Dark Castle Entertainment and the Sam Raimi-headed Ghost House Pictures. Originally in talks with Jonathan Liebesman (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning), Platinum Dunes finally chose to put Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder) in charge, the director who provided them with their best received film, the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Written by Freddy Vs. Jason scribes Damian Shannon & Mark Swift, the film will reportedly not be a direct remake but will instead take elements from the first three films in the franchise and go in its own direction. The movie stars Jared Padalecki (The CW’s Supernatural), Danielle Panabaker (CBS’ Shark), Amanda Righetti (Role Models), Travis Van Winkle (Meet The Spartans), Aaron Yoo (Nick And Norah’s Infinte Playlist) and Derek Mears (The Hills Have Eyes 2) among others.

It will premiere on February 12th, 2009 in Argentina, Germany, Portugal, Russia and the Netherlands, and come out the next day in a few other countries including the USA and the UK. You can check out four pictures from the new flick here and I have included the trailers for the first three films of the franchise after the jump. Don’t forget to tell me what you think in the comments.

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George Clooney for The Birds remake?

 

According to original star Rod Taylor, Burn After Reading actor George Clooney is the main contender for the lead role in Platinum Dunes’ planned 2009 The Birds remake.

“I often cringe when I hear mention of remakes, but I’ll hold judgement, especially since I’ve been told Clooney’s the favourite.”

Based on a shot story by Daphne Du Maurier (Rebecca), the original movie is of course one of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous and tells of birds developing a hostile attitude towards humans. The film is to be helmed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) and also stars Naomi Watts (Funny Games).

Fun Fact: The Hitchcock film received an apparently horrible sequel in 1994, The Birds II: Land’s End directed by Rick Rosenthal (Halloween II and Halloween: Resurrection) who chose to be credited as the infamous Alan Smithee and featuring original lead Tippi Hedren in a different role for some reason.

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Movie Of The Day: Nosferatu (1922)

Ironically, one of the the most infamous and well-regarded adaptations of Bram Stoker’s seminal novel Dracula, and one of the most influential vampire movies in the history of cinema, is not actually an official adaptation and would be lost today if it weren’t for some happy circumstances. It is the German color-tinted silent film Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie Des Grauens, literally Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Horror but also known in English as Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Terror, Nosferatu The Vampire and Terror Of Dracula.

Directed by the legendary F.W. Murnau (Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans) and written by Henrik Galeen (The Golem), the film follows Dracula‘s story pretty well, mainly omitting some characters and changing names and locations. A real estate employee named Hutter is sent by his boss to meet with the reclusive Count Orlok and sell him a house. Strange events surround him as he arrives and he eventually realizes that Orlok is a vampire, and that his eyes are set on Hutter’s wife Ellen. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Dimension goes Extreme straight-to-DVD

Dimension Films, the specialty branch of The Weinstein Company (previously Miramax) has greenlit eighteen straight-to-DVD flicks for its Dimension Extreme label which are budgeted at 3 to 6 million dollars each.

TWC co-chairman Bob Weinstein said the films, mostly sequels, prequels, remakes or spinoffs of TWC/Dimension titles, could debut in a particular ancillary arena — DVD, VOD, TV or the Web — depending on a closer look as they near release.

Thus expect new movies in the worlds of Hell Ride, Children Of The Corn, Midnight Man, Piranha, Halloween, etc…

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Freaks Of The Heartland moving forward

David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) has been hired to direct Freaks Of The Heartland, which was adapted by newcomers Peter Sattler and Geoff Davey from the comic book written Steve Niles (30 Days Of Night).

Illustrated by Greg Ruth, Niles’ six-part 2004 series about the horrible secret of a rural Middle American town involves Trevor Owen’s attempts to protect his “monster” of a 6-year-old younger brother and Gristlewood Valley’s other “freaks” from their parents’ worst instincts.

No actors have been cast as of yet.

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Paul W.S. Anderson is about to start work on Resident Evil 4

Filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson (Death Race), aka the “mastermind” behind the Resident Evil movie franchise  (he only directed the first one, but wrote and produced all three installments) has recently stated he will soon start tackling the unavoidable next sequel, saying thet he’s writing “an adaptation of the Long Good Friday right now, set in present-day Miami. Then I will probably write Resident Evil 4.”

Each film in the franchise ends with a tease to the sequel, so judging from Resident Evil: Extinction you can expect the film to take place at least partly in Tokyo, Japan. Aside from the rather poor writing (especially for the second movie’s ending), my main beef with these movies is how much they stray from their video game source, both in tone and storywise (much like most video game adaptations).

Heck the films feel more like video games than the games themselves. Then again, Extinction is the flick that has the least in common with the games, becoming some sort of Mad Max with zombies, and ended up arguably being the franchise’s best film and a great return to form for Highlander director Russell Mulcahy.  Yet one can argue that this is because the previous two entries had so little to do with the games that what they did have in common was more distracting than anything else.

So while Resident Evil 4 may prove to turn into an entertaining action movie, I’d still like to see a Resident Evil movie done right. Sure there’s that new CGI movie but that one simply expands on the games’ storyline, instead of retelling it. The Anderson series needs to be concluded in a final installment, enabling a more respectful filmmaker to reboot the franchise in my opinion.

 

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Dracula to return, officially that is

Dracula is such an omnipresent figure of today’s culture it’s sometimes easy to forget that he isn’t a product of mythical lore but rather a relatively recent (1897) literary creation by author Bram Stoker (above), just like Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and no, not The Three Musketeers because those actually really existed.

Now Bram’s great gand-nephew Dacre Stoker has gathered discarded notes from his renowned ancestor’s archives and has set about writing an official sequel to the original book, set 25 years later and titled Dracula: The Un-Dead, with the help of genre specialist Ian Holt.

The book will only be released by this time next year but the movie rights have already been sold, and the adaptation will start shooting in June 2009! Dutch filmmaker Jan De Bont (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life) will produce and probably direct. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but if we’re getting the sequel to a story, shouldn’t we get a new adaptation of the original first?

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