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Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis are the stars of Burke & Hare, which unites the actors under the direction of John Landis. Based on the real-life exploits of Irish murderers William Burke and William Hare, who killed at least 17 people in Edinburgh in 1827-8, the film may not hew too closely to the tone and severity of actual events. It is being described at least partially as a comedy. Then again, Landis made some of American Werewolf in London quite funny without sacrificing the horrific tone. It’s been a long time since that film; can he make that recipe work again? Read More »

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Simon Pegg has Tweeted a link to the extended cast list for John Landis‘ Burke and Hare on IMDB. He indicated just one mistake on the roster – John Cleese will not be appearing – but called the rest of it “pretty spot on”. Not only does this mean that Spaced’s Tim and Daisy, Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes, will be reunited, but also that several other alumni of their sitcom will be cropping up, namely Michael Smiley, Bill Bailey and Reece Shearsmith. And then, not noted by Pegg in particular, there are also roles for some of my faves: Hugh Bonneville, John Woodvine and Ronnie Corbett. Superbness.

I’d previously wondered if Margaret Laird would be given space in the film’s narrative, and so far she’s not shown up on the list. Pegg does promise more surprises, however…

UPDATE: And now I’ve received an official press release to announce the start of production which lists both Tim Curry and Christopher Lee as being amongst the cast. it just keeps getting better and better.

One small mystery was put to rest as Paul Davis’ cameo was revealed to be as a patient, presumably of Dr. Knox.

Incidentally, the image at the top of the post shows the death masks of the real Burke and Hare.

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It’s all coming out now regarding the casting of John LandisBurke and Hare, the comedic horror film about the UK’s first acknowledged serial killers. Simon Pegg, the man who will be Burke, broke the news via Twitter that David Tennant is no longer going to play Hare, and that Andy Serkis will be coming onboard instead. Now, the very next day, we learn that Isla Fisher and Tom Wilkinson have also joined the lineup.

Fisher’s role is a love interest for Simon Pegg and a young lady who “might or might not be an accomplice to the murders” – meaning, the question of her complicity is going to be an actual plot point. History records whether or not Burke’s real life mistress, Helen M’Dougal, was acquitted of any involvement in the crimes but I won’t spoil that here. Besides, the film may fictionalise events completely. While Fisher’s character is going to be an actress, I’ve got no idea if the real M’Dougal was. Any West Port Murders experts out there?

Read More »

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UPDATE: The Simon Pegg tweet from which the Andy Serkis info was ‘sourced’ has been deleted. Was this a case of announcing too soon and/or without authorization, or is something else in the works? Mark this one as ‘uncertain’ for now. Original article follows.

Sad news if you were looking forward to seeign Dr. Who‘s David Tennant work opposite Simon Pegg in Burke & Hare, the upcoming horror comedy from John Landis. Tennant has been forced to drop out, leaving a core cast of Pegg, Bill Nighy and John Cleese. But all is not bleak, as Tennant has been replaced by Andy Serkis.

The news comes direct from Simon Pegg, who said “David Tennant had to drop out of B&H but by sheer glorious serendipity a legend of Middle Earth and Skull Island has come aboard. Welcome AS.” Good enough for me. I’d love to see Tenant do more feature work, but I’ll take Serkis in a pinch. As we’ve reported before, Burke and Hare were itinerant Irish immigrant murderers who sold corpses of their victims to a medical college in Scotland. Very much looking forward to seeing Landis return with this one. [Pegg’s Twitter, via CHUD]

After the break, news on two projects that couldn’t be more different. Read More »

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The world premiere unveiling of a freshly remastered digital print of John LandisAn American Werewolf in London was arguably the highlight of the Film 4 Frightfest last weekend. To accompany this, the festival also premiered Paul Davis‘ long awaited, self initiated American Werewolf retrospective documentary, Beware the Moon. Settling in for this double bill was like watching the new Werewolf Blu-Ray in the best possible circumstances: on a huge screen, wonderfully projected and in the company of over a thousand ardent horror fans.

Read More »

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Update: The script for Knights of Badassdom has been written and is being rewritten by Matt Wall and Kevin Dreyfuss. Also note the lack of hyphen in the title – that flourish of mine was just a little line out of line.

Breaking news from Film 4 Frightfest. During an on-stage Q&A with John Landis and many of the crew and some cast (read: Linzi Drew) of An American Werewolf in London, Landis dropped a couple nice little nuggets of horror news. He had apparently been offered a picture called The Knights of Bad-assdom (my hyphen) but turned it down and directed the producers instead to who he considered the right man for the job.

That man is Wrong Turn 2’s Joe Lynch, and according to Landis he’s the guy particularly because the film deals with video games and Lynch reportedly knows all about them. Not a great deal to go on, so after the Q&A wrapped, I scooted up to Lynch and asked for more info.

Read More »

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John Landis is reportedly on the verge of production on a Burke & Hare film, with Simon Pegg on board to star. Burke and Hare, for those not in the know, were a pair of Irish immigrant murderers in early 19th century Edinburgh who sold on the corpses of their victims to the local medical college.

Read More »

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According to Bloody Disgusting, the Weinstein Brothers have purchased the rights to remake An American Werewolf in London from original writer/director John Landis. Dimension Films already has a Hellraiser remake in the works (which can’t seem to keep a director on board) and has the second new Halloween film hitting theatres soon. The news that a cash-strapped Landis has sold rights to the Weinsteins (who have been reported to be equally cash-strapped, ironically) will probably cue the question that has cropped up a lot lately: is nothing sacred? The perpetual answer is: not in Hollywood, no. And that’s OK, because we’ll always have the original. Read More »

VOTD: John Landis on Point Blank

John Landis on Point Blank

The Pitch: John Landis gives a commentary on the trailer for John Boorman’s Point Blank in Trailers From Hell.

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“Let’s dance, Tom.”

In the dizzying sinkhole of modern remakes, enough time has passed with 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon to dampen fanboy squabbles over a new studio effort. Of course, the sci-fi horror reboot still needs to impress, and that responsibility falls with its director. While I hoped to see John Landis or Rob Zombie strike up fresh chills and gills in exotic locales, director Breck Eisner (Sahara, son of Michael) tells ShockTilYouDrop that his planned remake is moving forward, complete with locations scoped out in South America, a fully created, newly envisioned creature, and less than two percent aspiration to be the next Mummy 1, 2, 3, 9.

Eisner didn’t draw comparisons to the tone of The Dark Knight (watch for an oncoming avalanche from countless PG-13 assigned directors), but did bring up fashionable parallels to The Wolf Man (the original) and Universal‘s other classic monsters (but not, you know, Sommers’s The Mummy).

“We debated tone a thousand times. For me tone is the most interesting thing a filmmaker has and so the Creature is a creature, it’s not a monster. That’s my number one thing about the movie. We’re not going to turn him into a monster. He’s still going to be empathetic, he’s still going to be deadly, he’s still going to have a misguided means of expressing his interests in a woman, but it’s uniquely the Creature. …It will deliver of action and excitement, but I want it to be scary. The Creature was scary when it first came out in ’54 – it’s not scary today – but that’s what updating means to me, updating the tone of the original.”

In other words, don’t worry too much, it won’t be Sahara with a man in birthday suit. Intriguingly enough, Eisner references Werner Herog’s Fitzcarraldo for inspiration and says he’ll shoot partially in the Brazilian city of Manaus where Herzog and Klaus Kinski notoriously went nuts. The titular lagoon(s) has been chosen as well. When can we expect this then?

“I want to get [Eisner’s remake of George Romero’s The Crazies] done, get it into post-production then head to the Amazon for ‘Creature.’ Oddly, I’m waiting on the height of the Amazon river before we start shooting – it drops 50-feet in October and November. But we’ve got the boat set and everything ready to go.”

Eisner says he’s reworking the script by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) and confirms that Spectral Motion (Hellboy, Fantastic Four) is a lock for the SFX. I’m really curious to see any artwork or the script for this, so please leak them. Mixing studio-pleasing action with genuine scares is nearly as hard to pull off as horror comedy, but Eisner’s well liked and most in the know feel his best days and visions are in front of him. Creature > McConaughey’s spray-on tan adventure.

Discuss: Now that it’s picking up speed, what are your feelings on the remake based on Eisner’s quotes and notions above? And given the creature’s penchant for the ladies, do any of Slashfilm’s female readers find it attractive? In 3D?

via AICN