When you hear that a classic genre movie like An American Werewolf In London is getting the remake treatment, you can’t help but have a sinking feeling. Not all remakes are bad, to be fair (John Carpenter’s The Thing is always trotted out to prove that point) and a lot of recent remakes of ’80s classics haven’t been heinous so much as disappointing; the RoboCop and Total Recall remakes would actually be okay movies in themselves if there had never been the originals, but in comparison they seem gimmicky, shallow and less charming, even with their improved visual FX.
However, the talent involved behind the camera with this new remake leads you to wonder if this time, something at least, well, interesting might be in the works.
For a start, Deadline reports that The Walking Dead’s David Albert and Robert Kirkman producing through their Skybound Entertainment for Universal Pictures.
But more intriguingly, the script will be written by Max Landis, who may also direct. This isn’t a cause for celebration in itself. Although Landis wrote the script for the magnificent low-budget superhero movie Chronicle, he’s also responsible for the ludicrous Victor Frankenstein and the messy Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Plus his movie directorial debut, the screwball romantic comedy Me Him Her, has met with a lukewarm response. So his involvement on that level can best be described as “no cause for celebration yet”.
However, the more interesting aspect of his involvement is, of course, that Max Landis is the son of John Landis, writer/director of the original An American Werewolf In London.
Now, aside from the fact that this must be a unique situation in Hollywood – a son remaking his father’s film – it would take an enormous act of arrogance on Landis Jr’s side to think he could out-do his father. And Landis Sr appears to have willingly signed away the rights for the sequel to be made with the knowledge that his son’s making it. So you can’t help thinking there’s some method to this madness; that the Landises have been concocting some lycanthropic mischief over family Sunday lunches.
We’re guessing this won’t be a straight remake, but something rather different.
We could be wrong and maybe Max is simply vain enough to think he can do a straight remake his dad’s classic. But we’re crossing our fingers that won’t be the case.