Is Sam Raimi directing the 'Poltergeist' remake after all?
If you spend much time on horror-oriented websites, chances are you saw some footage from the upcoming "Evil Dead" remake that leaked from the New York Comic Con. I'll say this much for the film based on that quick look… it felt like an "Evil Dead" film. I do not envy Fede Alvarez because he's going to have a lot of people gunning for him sight unseen on that movie. The original is more than just a well-liked low-budget horror film. It was a major announcement of voice by Sam Raimi, and the "Evil Dead" series features one of the most iconic central performances in the history of the genre from Bruce Campbell.
Monday night, DreamWorks Animation screened their upcoming animated film "Rise Of The Guardians" in New York, and it seems like people liked it. I'm seeing it soon, and I'm very curious about it. The combination of talent on the film is intriguing, including creative consultant Guillermo Del Toro, author and visual designer William Joyce, storyboard artist Peter Ramsey who is making his jump to directing on the film, and of course the screenwriter, David Lindsay-Abaire.
Lindsay-Abaire was the writer of "Rabbit Hole," and he's a Pulitzer Prize winner, a big brained writer who has an impressive sense of style and reserve. He's making fascinating choices considering how easy it would be for him to get pigeon holed into working on big, "serious" Oscar fare. I like that he seems to have a real affinity for genre, and he's taking some unexpected jobs. He mentioned one of those during a post screening conversation he had with Scott Feinberg, and maybe because it was in an article about a family holiday movie, I haven't seen a lot of people pick up on the surprising news that was contained in the exchange.
Lindsay-Abaire has been hired to write the remake of "Poltergeist," which seems to indicate they're aiming high with this one. In April, there was a lot of back-and-forth about Sam Raimi's role on the sequel, and everyone was very careful to explain that Raimi was coming onboard with as a producer. As it turns out, that may not be his only job on the film according to Lindsay-Abaire, who told Feinberg that Raimi almost directed the film version of "Rabbit Hole." The writer stated directly that Raimi will be directing the "Poltergeist" remake, which would make it a pretty big deal for horror fans. It does seem like the studio's going to want a big name directing if they've got Lindsay-Abaire writing, and who knows… maybe things have changed since April. Maybe the script got Raimi excited and he decided he didn't want someone else to direct it.
We'll be following up on this one as much as possible, and there's a press event later this month where we may have a chance to talk to Lindsay-Abaire about his comments directly. If this does end up happening, I think it serves as a perfect illustration of the circle of Hollywood life that Raimi would be directing a remake of a movie just as the remake of his first film is arriving in theaters. The Hollywood Centipede appears to be digesting and predigesting itself in the most fascinating ways these days.