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An English-language remake of Juan Antonio Bayona’s fantastic horror film The Orphanage has been in the works since that film’s release two years ago. At first, we reported that producer Guillermo del Toro had chosen Wendigo director Larry Fessenden to helm the project, but those plans fell apart a few months after they were announced. Now we’ve learned that Mothman Prophecies and Arlington Road director Mark Pellington has been tasked to direct the remake.

Even though we learned the news about Fessenden signing on to the project this past summer, he was apparently working on the remake for the past two years. As we’ve reported previously, he told Arrow in the Head:

The Orphanage was two years of waiting. Working on the script with Guillermo was a very exciting experience, but then I got into a casting miasma and that’s where the thing is; I think they’re gonna do it another way, actually. So I think I’m out of it. Hopefully they’ll still use my script, but I’m not sure I’m directing it anymore. That’s Hollywood for ya.

After that much work was put into the script, it’s likely that Pellington will still rely on Fessenden’s previous work. He’s not known to write his own films, so if he’s not satisfied with the script as it is currently, we may see another writer take a pass at this remake.

I dug Pellington’s style in Mothman, but unfortunately several factors kept that film from really working for me. I’m just hoping that he can craft a film that competes with Bayona’s original, because it’s by far one of the most effective horror films I’ve seen in the past few decades. Since Del Toro is still involved with the remake, as he was with the original, I’m thinking he wouldn’t let anyone screw up the remake too badly.
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