In a turbulent sea of tepid remakes, yawn-worthy reboots and lacklustre reimaginings, there are a few classics that even the most cynical fangirl or boy assumes will always stand above the mediocre tide. Despite beloved film after beloved film falling to the reboot disease, there are those pop culture artefacts that, we assume, are somehow immune to the infection. Surely, we whisper to ourselves, surely, they wouldn’t dare touch that? Then Robocop happened. Now, nothing is sacred. While the occasional pleasant surprise pops up amongst the dross, few greet the arrival of the remake with anything other than trepidation, if not outright irritation. That’s why we’re getting worried for the fate of our favourite Wolfman.
The An American Werewolf in London remake is certainly off to a confusing start, with Screenwriter (and son of the original director, John Landis) Max Landis originally “categorically denying” involvement on Twitter back in August. He has now been confirmed as both director and writer of the film. Landis junior is something of an unknown quantity behind the camera. Despite being an experienced screenwriter with credits including
Chronicle, American Ultra, Victor Frankenstein, and the upcoming Bright, Landis currently has only one feature film under his belt as director, 2015’s Me Him Her. Remaking one of his father’s most admired pictures is a task we don’t envy, but having that be one of your first times in the director’s chair as well? We’d rather fight a Werewolf.
We’re more reassured by the presence of Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, who is joined by co-executive producer on the The Walking Dead TV show, David Alpert. Kirkman is on board as one of the executive producers, and with such an impressive resume in the world of gruelling, blood-drenched horror, he should be a steady hand on the tiller.
The film will be made or broken on it’s special effects. The original transformation sequence still stands up today, so long after its 1981 release, and has earned its place as one of the most iconic scenes in 80’s horror. It has yet to be seen who the task of doing justice to Rick Baker’s Oscar-winning plastic effects will fall to, but the decision will be a crucial one if the remake is to capture the soul of the original.
Dammit, we want to believe that this could be good. The foggy moor, the mauled friend, the slowly dawning realisation before the brutal transformation itself, we want to be back there as badly as anyone. Max Landis has got an awful lot to do if he wants his film to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his father’s original. We wish him the very best of luck. Stay tuned for updates from the set of Michael Bay’s Citizen Kane: Reloaded.