american werewolf in london remake

A key component of being a movie fan in the year 2016 is learning to shrug off remakes of your favorite movies and learn to live with the fact that bonafide classics are always going to get dusted off by studios hoping to capitalize on a familiar title. Remakes are going to happen. History has shown most of ’em to stink. Their presence has never erased the original from existence. The scales balance.

And yet, there’s something undeniably irritating about someone remaking An American Werewolf in London, one of the greatest horror movies of all time and the crown jewel of writer/director John Landis‘ career. It’s a near-perfect movie that just-so-happens to have a famous title. This was inevitable. The big twist here is that Max Landis, John Landis’ son, has jumped on board the remake as a writer and director.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Landis’ involvement in the remake, but rumblings of Max Landis being involved in a remake of his father’s classic first emerged in August when the Chronicle and Victor Frankenstein screenwriter starting dropping some not-so-subtle hints about a future project on Twitter. However, he ended up backtracking, telling various outlets (including /Film) that he was not involved in the project.

Ah, okay. Suuure.

While Landis is a prolific screenwriter (he’s sold far more screenplays than he’s seen produced), the An American Werewolf in London remake would be his sophomore feature as a director, following last year’s Me Him Her. THR reports that The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and David Alpert will serve as producers.

Landis has proven himself to be a divisive presence amongst movie fans, having written good movies and bad movies while taking his social media presence very, very seriously. It’s enough for some people to have an immediate knee-jerk reaction to him being involved in any film, let alone a remake of an oft-imitated, never-toped genre classic that found the perfect balance between grim humor and gruesome horror while breaking ground with its astonishing practical make-up and creature effects (the great Rick Baker won the first-ever Best Make-Up Oscar for his work on the film). It’s a great freakin’ movie, guys. If you’ve seen it, you don’t need me to tell you that.

An American Werewolf in London is a film that carries a certain amount of baggage and Max Landis, being the son of the man who made the original, surely knows this more than anyone else. If this piece of movie news was the plot point in a Hollywood satire, we would start waiting for the scene where father and son have angry confrontation about legacies and what-not.

In any case, a remake surely can’t be worse than An American Werewolf in Paris, the ill-conceived 1997 sequel.

These are still early days for the new An American Werewolf in London and anything can happen between now and whenever (or if) it gets made. In the meantime, Landis’ next screenplay, Bright, is currently being filmed for a 2017 release, with David Ayer behind the camera and Will Smith starring.

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