Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Fred Dekker‘s 1987 movie The Monster Squad, written by Dekker and Shane Black, is a film that couldn’t be made today. Not because it was groundbreaking, but because it has a blend of enthusiastic naivite, fun effects, and young actors that don’t look like they were cloned from the same attractive DNA and grown in a vat hidden in Santa Monica.
Which means, of course, that a remake is happening. Almost two years ago Rob Cohen, who produced the original, mentioned that the rights to the film were back at Paramount and that he was working on a deal with the studio to produce a remake. We haven’t heard anything since then, but now a company is indeed working with Cohen on the remake: Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes.
Deadline reports that Platinum Dunes is on the project, but has few other details. There is no writer as of yet, though producers Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, and Rob Cohen are meeting with writers.When news of the remake cropped up in 2008 Cohen said he wasn’t interested in directing; Deadline now says Cohen wants to direct the film. If so, hopefully that’s not some nostalgia for a beloved movie he produced, but rather based on the idea that he’s the best for the job. (He’s not.)
Dekker only directed three films: Night of the Creeps, this and RoboCop 3, which means he’s batting .666 (ahem) with respect to creating cult classics. Cohen’s directorial career, on the other hand, boasts many more credits, and some very successful films, but nothing that has the same low-key blend of character and fun to match The Monster Squad.
The original film was based on a pretty simple idea: what if a group of friends had to face down a group of classic Universal monsters come to life? Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man (“Wolf Man’s got nards!”), the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon were the monsters, and they were taken down with a blend of humor and genuine enthusiasm for classic monster movies that had fans clamoring for the movie on DVD. (The long-overdue release finally hit shelves in October of 2007; a blu-ray disc followed last November.)
Here’s the trailer for the original; I’m trying not to think about a Platinum Dunes-ified version. Could this be a turning point for Dunes? Somehow, I doubt it.