Posted on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
Looking back at the last info we had on MGM’s proposed remake of Poltergeist, this rumor isn’t very surprising. MGM CEO Roger Birnbaum gave a talk this week at his alma mater, the University of Denver, and dropped a few bits of info about two remakes the studio is working on. One was Carrie, which Birnbaum suggested may have a found-footage angle.
There was also reportedly mention of Poltergeist, a film MGM has been talking about remaking for several years. Of that project, the story goes that Birnbaum said that Sam Raimi is in talks to direct.
Update: THR reveals that Raimi is producing, rather than directing, which makes a lot more sense. As mentioned below, David Lindsay-Abaire is indeed writing the story that “focuses on a family whose house was built on a holy site and whosedaughter is taken by ghosts.” Original article follows.
On one hand, the news of Raimi’s involvement isn’t entirely surprising because last year we heard that MGM wanted David Lindsay-Abaire to write the script.
Lindsay-Abaire is a Pulitzer-winning playwright who recently scripted Rabbit Hole. He also drafted Spider-Man 4 at Sony when Raimi was still on that series, and came on to rewrite Oz: The Great and Powerful as Raimi was developing that film. So the two men have a solid recent history together. Hiring David Lindsay-Abaire to script could have been the first stage in getting Raimi to direct.
On the other hand, Raimi and Lindsay-Abaire’s involvement is yet to be confirmed, as we haven’t heard back from any reps we’ve reached out to at this point. So don’t treat this like a done deal. And this would be a somewhat surprising move for Raimi overall.
Finally, as much as I like the idea of Raimi doing more out-and-out horror, I still think Poltergeist is a movie that doesn’t need to be remade. It has a great place in movie history as the flipside to E.T. (released a week apart, and both having roots in Steven Spielberg’s aborted Close Encounters of the Third Kind follow-up Night Skies) and features the sort of tone that a remake isn’t likely to capture. I would happily see a Raimi-directed movie that is in a similar vein, but a direct remake seems misguided.