Briefly: Fans of horror and Elijah Wood have a bit of good news today as IFC Midnight has picked up the North American rights to Maniac, the first-person serial killer film directed by Franck Khalfoun. That means the film, a remake of the 1980 cult classic directed by William Lustig, will likely get a theatrical and VOD release sooner rather than later.

In the film, Wood plays the owner of a mannequin store who stalks and kills young women. The twist is that he tapes the encounters, and the movie is told through his camera. The audience only ever sees Wood in reflections. Maniac premiered at Cannes early this summer. Thanks to Deadline for the info. Head here for more on the film.

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Here’s the full trailer for the remake of Maniac, which stars Elijah Wood as a very damaged guy who is very violently trying to come to terms with his troubled relationship with his mom.

We saw a not-quite-synced up trailer a week or so ago, and this is a full version of the same thing, with a full ending and, accordingly, a good dollop of extra horror. This one is definitely not safe for work due to nudity and a general atmosphere of ugliness. Read More »

William Lustig’s Maniac, released in 1980, is not a nice movie. It is an exploitation classic; a weird, super-creepy story of a very damaged man (originally played by Joe Spinell) who kills women as a way to articulate rage towards his deceased mother. It is dirty but effective, and

A Maniac remake shot recently with Elijah Wood in the lead role, and it doesn’t look like a nice movie, either. In fact, this version from director Franck Khalfoun (P2, Wrong Turn at Tahoe) and writers Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur & C.A. Rosenberg looks dirty and ugly in just the way you’d expect a film called Maniac to be.

The film is selling in Cannes now, and a sales teaser trailer has shown up online. This one is definitely not safe for work, thanks in part to nudity, but more for violence and general creepiness. One shot of a victim of Wood’s character towards the end of the teaser is really queasy. Read More »

Years ago, after the Keanu Reeves/Sandra Bullock thriller Speed dominated summer box office, jokes quickly spawned about how studio development of films based on the success of a story about a bomb-rigged bus that had to maintain speed in order to avoid detonation. “Speed on a Plane,” ” Speed in an Elevator,” and other gags were floated. It was the new “Die Hard on a ____” plot gag. Hell, a “Speed on a Boat” joke actually became Speed 2.

But I don’t think anyone ever talked about making “Speed at a piano,” until now. Read More »

If this collection of remake news bits is anything to go by, the ’70s and ’80s are back in full force. After the jump, the new Carrie dishes about Kimberly Peirce’s update, Ally Sheedy gets news of a WarGames remake, and Elijah Wood’s turn as a Maniac heads to Cannes.

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Ten years ago this week The Fellowship of the Ring was released. Peter Jackson‘s first Tolkien adaption silenced a great many naysayers who said J.R.R. Tolkien‘s novels could never be properly translated to film. It also fostered a mainstream interest in fantasy movies that continues a decade later.

The development of a film based on Tolkien’s original Middle-Earth novel, The Hobbit, was the subject of speculation as soon as Jackson started work on The Lord of the Rings. Actually making the movie was a terrifically complicated process that involved rights deals, the financial solvency of MGM, a long period of development under original director Guillermo del Toro, and the eventual return of Peter Jackson to the director’s chair.

Now the first teaser trailer — a long teaser, at that — has been released for the first of two films based on the novel. Get the first look at footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, after the break. Read More »

It makes perfect sense if you think about it. The last video blog Peter Jackson released from the set of The Hobbit was all about 3D and in it you could see his inner geek pouring out. He seems to really be enjoying capturing Middle Earth in 3D. Movies such as The Lion King and presumably Titanic and Star Wars Episode 1 are set for successful 3D theatrical renaissances, so the possibility of a 3D re-release for Jackson’s signature The Lord of the Rings trilogy simply fits.

In a recent interview, the star of those films, Elijah Wood, said there have been discussions about just that and, if it’s done right, he’s all for it. Read his quote and more after the jump. Read More »

Elijah Wood To Play A ‘Maniac’

Most people think of Elijah Wood as a sweet and noble character, both because he was the hero of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy but also because he began acting so young. Combining his younger roles with Frodo Baggins seemingly paints a picture of Wood’s wheelhouse however, on occasion, he goes the totally opposite way. A film like Sin City comes to mind.

That blood-curdling evil is what director Franck Khalfoun will surely looking for as he’s just cast Wood as the lead in his remake of the 1980 cult classic Maniac. The script was written by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Piranha 3D) and Grégory Levasseur. Read More »

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