Not long ago, Rob Zombie said that he’d soon be announcing his next directorial project. And now the info is out. It isn’t the remake of The Blob, nor Tyrannosaurus Rex. No, it’s a film called The Lords of Salem, about what unfolds when an group of witches plague modern-day Salem.
Deadline says that Zombie will write the script this fall and shoot the film next year. He’s backed by Haunted Films and Alliance Films, a cooperation which has already financed James Wan’s Insidious and is behind Barry Levinson’s The Bay, which is shooting now.
Zombie was attracted to the setup by an offer of autonomy — he’s given “total control” over script, casting and final cut. That’s a far cry from working with the Weinsteins and Dimension.
The film will be a thriller, “set in contemporary Salem, where the inhabitants receive a demonic visit from a 300-year old coven of witches.”
Zombie says his best filmmaking experience to date has been with LionsGate on The Devil’s Rejects, and I’d mark the coincidence that Rejects is his best film. He says the battles on the two Halloween movies were draining. (“By the time I got [my way], I didn’t care anymore.”)
Speaking to Deadline, Zombie also namedrops The Shining as an example of a slow-burn film that might not get made by a studio now, which suggests that he might go for a longer, more deliberately paced film while making The Lords of Salem.
As far as The Blob goes, Zombie says that dealing with a remake is a grind he’s not willing to deal with.
I wanted to break away from anything related to preexisting material…The remake train is getting pretty tired now and when I made Halloween, everybody complained, either that it was too much like the original or too different. I like that people either love or hate what I do because it’s better than being in the middle, which means forgettable. But when you do an original premise, they take it on face value and after three years of not being able to win on Halloween, I just couldn’t go through that again.