Posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Leonardo DiCaprio‘s production company Appian Way is developing a gothic reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood. David Leslie Johnson, Frank Daabont’s former assistant and screenwriter of the recently cult horror film Orphan, has been to pen the script. The project is being developed by Appian, but not as a acting vehicle for DiCaprio. I’m sure the film’s title will probably be a play on the original title like, “Little Red”, “Red Riding Hood”, or “The Big Bad Wolf”.
Not much is known about the new take, other than it will be loosely based on the famous fairy tale. 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.