Some ideas are just too good to let happen once, like Hamlet or Spider-Man. In 1954, Jack Finney published a science fiction novel called The Body Snatchers, which was about a small town in California that is inundated by “space seeds” that take sleeping humans and replace them with a near exact duplicate. These duplicates are physically near perfect, but on the inside everything is wrong. The metaphor works on so many different levels, which is why Hollywood can never leave well enough alone, and again, The Body Snatchers is about to become a major motion picture again.
Deadline reported last night that Warner Bros. is again working on a version of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers with David Leslie Johnson writing a new script for the project with John Davis producing. Johnson has written a couple of big projects for Warners including The Conjuring 2 and Wrath of the Titans, while Davis has several credits to his name including Chronicle, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and TV’s The Blacklist. So far, no director or cast has been attached, so it’s assumed that these are very early days for the project.
The Body Snatchers was first made as a feature film in 1956 by Don Siegel, and it starred Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter taking full advantage of the “Red Scare” and 50s paranoia about the gathering communist threat to the world. Arguably, the more famous version is the 1978 Body Snatchers directed by Phillip Kaufman and starring Donald Sutherland, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. Perfectly situated at the end of a decade that included Watergate, the end of the Vietnam War, and escalating crime and terrorism, and released just over a month after the Jonestown massacre, Kaufman’s Body Snatchers captured the uneasy and suspicion of the time to even greater effect than the original. It was remade twice more in 1993, and 2007, and influenced countless other movies including, most obviously, 1998’s The Faculty.
We’ll have more news about this project as it becomes available.