Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Catherine Hardwicke has signed on to direct The Girl With the Red Riding Hood for Appian Way and Warner Bros. The gothic reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood was announced earlier this month, with Orphan screenwriter David Leslie Johnson attached to pen the script.
Not much is known about the new take, other than it will be loosely based on the famous fairy tale, is being described as a werewolf movie, and has a teenage love triangle at its center. Hardwicke is a perfect choice for this project as her filmmaking career thus far has been filled with teenage stories with female leads. She broke onto the directing scene with the Sundance indie Thirteen (starring Evan Rachel Wood), and has since directed The Nativity Story (starring Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary) and, of course, Twilight (starring Kristen Stewart). She also directed the 2005 film Lords of Dogtown.
The story has changed many times over the years, and is best known in the Brothers Grimm variant. But earlier versions were much darker, the earliest printed version from the 17th century ended with Riding Hood being slaughtered by the wolf. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
The story had as its subject an “attractive, well-bred young lady”, a village girl of the country being deceived into giving a wolf she encountered the information he needed to find her grandmother’s house successfully and eat the old woman while at the same time avoiding being noticed by woodcutters working in the nearby forest. Then he proceeded to lay a trap for the Red Riding Hood. The latter ends up eaten by the wolf and there the story ends. The wolf emerges the victor of the encounter and there is no happy ending.
It is unclear which version of the classic tale the Gothic reimagining will take influence from, but one could imagine it might be the older tellings. Hollywood could give a “Gothic reimagining” spin to any of the classic fairy tales and I would be interested. I’m actually kinda disappointed that Disney jumped on Alice in Wonderland, as I was hoping that one of the dark Alice projects would have gone into production.
But don’t expect to see this film on the big screen any time soon, or ever. Appian Way seems to announce a new project in development each month (I might be slightly exaggerating for dramatic effect). IMDb Pro lists 22 upcoming properties in pre-production, but the company turns out an average of one film per year. So, unless things dramatically pick up, chances are we’ll never see this project on the big screen. Appian has a list a mile long of promising projects in development, including: Akira, Atari, Aquaman, Conspiracy of Fools, Ninja Scroll, and a couple projects with both Dicaprio and Martin Scorsese attached. Hardwicke is also attached to an adaptation of Hamlet for Overture 21 Jump Street, and Maxium Ride at Sony.