Updated! Seriously, who thinks AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON remake is a good idea?
Published at: June 29, 2009, 5:07 a.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here again. I had a source give me a few more details on the below information and it might not be as bad as we think. The source says that there might not be any interest in doing a remake because of a rights issue, something about Universal's ownership of DVD, TV and online rights. What this source hears is Dimension is talking about franchising it. My guess is it wouldn't be a direct sequel like AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS, but rather keeping the werewolves and horror/comedy tone, but moving it around the world.
All this is very fluid at the moment, nobody really 100% locked in for any one direction. I like the franchise idea a lot more than a direct remake, personally. Leave well enough alone... but still come play in the same sandbox. Why not?
I also received an email from a CG artist offended at what he views are attacks at his profession by little ol' me. I know I've been beating the practical effects drum loudly over the last couple weeks, but I do have a lot of respect for the talent and work ethic of the skilled computer graphic artists slaving away for our entertainment.
My personal issue with a remake of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is that it's such a practical effects-driven film that that aspect has now become part of the identity of the film. The Oscars essentially invented a category to give Rick Baker a statue for his groundbreaking work on this movie and that gave birth to the make-up Oscar.
When CGI reaches its greatest heights it's always (and I underline always) when there's a huge enough budget to support it. Benjamin Button, Kong, Jurassic Park, LOTR, that awesome CGI baby in CHILDREN OF MEN, Iron Man, etc. Unless Dimension was thinking of giving this reported remake an $80 million budget I was always going to be nervous about CGI werewolves. Can someone mention one film where a CG werewolf or werewolf transformation looked anything less than rubbery and ridiculous?
I think history is on my side on that one. That doesn't mean that CGI won't make it one day, but right now I have every reason in the world to be skeptical.
Add that on top of my own personal preference for practical work over digital and you hopefully get where I'm coming from. I don't want to beat up on the computer wizards who pour their hearts and souls into their work for us. Much like there have been Pixar movies that have surpassed some Disney classics, there have been CGI effects that have outdone anything done by hand. I love and admire great computer effects, but there's something to the old fashioned way of things that speaks to me. Call it nostalgia if you want, but I prefer hand painted mattes to digital mattes, I prefer 35 or 70mm to digital film and I prefer Rick Baker's werewolf work to anything that has ever been done with the creature via CG effects. Those are my tastes.
Wow, I better get this soap box out of here. That became a little speech. I should have prepared it better and delivered in a crowded auditorium to roaring applause from the newly impassioned crowd.
That's the update as far as I know. If I come across any other tidbits as the project develops I'll make sure to pass them along.
Here's the original story below:
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Okay, this isn't a done deal, but Bloody-Disgusting has a tipster that tells them Dimension has picked up the remake rights to AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. I guess John Landis needed the money... But this seems like an enormously huge mistake. I have no interest in seeing a CGI-filled remake of AWIL, which still holds up. With certain films there's an argument that can be made about a new generation not being able to get past a film made in a certain era, like DAWN OF THE DEAD. I don't subscribe to that argument, but I understand it.
American Werewolf is just as good today as it was back then, in my opinion.
Horror comedy is so delicate that I have trouble believing a new filmmaker, no matter how talented, can catch the same lightning in a bottle that Landis did in the original. This just reeks of a bad idea to me.
We'll see if it pans out (BD is usually pretty good on their rumors) and if it actually makes it into production if Dimension does indeed have the remake rights. What do you folks think?
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