Nicolas Cage tends to emphasize quantity over quality when it comes to his career choices, but he still comes across some truly good projects every once in a while — I’d say just often enough to remind us that he can bring it if he really wants to. And after a long streak of forgettable stinkers like Season of the Witch, Seeking Justice, and Trespass, he’s landed an especially promising new project in Joe.

Billed as a “gritty Southern drama,” Joe is being adapted by Gary Hawkins from the novel by Larry BrownDavid Gordon Green is set to direct, marking his return to drama after a string of comedies. There’s a catch, though — cameras on Joe are scheduled to roll this fall, which indicates that Green’s long-gestating Suspiria remake has been pushed back yet again. More after the jump.

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It’s been several years since David Gordon Green began working on his remake of Dario Argento‘s horror classic Suspiria, but the pieces appear to be falling into place for real this time. About a month after producers announced that financing was locked in and casting was underway, Green has found his star:15-year-old Isabelle Furhman, best known for her turn in Jaume Collet-Serra’s rather insane Orphan.

Fuhrman leads a strong cast that also includes Isabelle Huppert, Janet McTeer, Michael Nyqvist, and Antje Traue, in unnamed roles. More details after the jump.

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For four years now, David Gordon Green has been working on a remake of Dario Argento‘s 1977 horror classic Suspiria. For a while the movie looked to be coming together for a 2010 start, but it wasn’t until summer 2010 that Argento finally turned over the rights, so Green’s project got off schedule. Green never gave up, though, and as of last spring had written a new draft of the script and secured the rights to the original’s score from Goblin. And now all that work is about to pay off, as the pieces are falling into place to start production this fall. More after the jump.

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Though we’ve heard little about it in the past year, David Gordon Green‘s plans to remake Dario Argento‘s landmark horror/thriller Suspiria have not died. Much to the contrary. He has a new draft of the script written, and wants to make it his next film. And while he plans to change some elements of the story, in recent interviews he says he is planning a very faithful adaptation. He’s even got the rights to the original film’s chilling, screeching score from Italian band Goblin, and will use the music in his version. Read More »

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What’s going on with David Gordon Green‘s proposed remake of the Dario Argento horror classic Suspiria? We first heard about the film almost two years ago, and there were rumors not long ago that the film would shoot this year. But we haven’t heard much about the remake since people hit Green with questions while on the set of his latest film Your Highness.

Turns out the holdup may have been with Argento, who held the rights to his original film. Read More »

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When 2009 is reflected on later, it won’t be the clunky, predictable Oscar-bait pics that standout but rather a new crop of outspoken auteurs that came into their own in ’09 with stealthy, highly confident fare. A charged determination and can’t-fail idealism is instilled in these directors that makes the filmmaking process once again exciting and truly daring: A young man’s game. Writer/director, Ti West, is one such auteur. Not yet 30 years of age, West has crafted a horror film with an attention to detail, sex appeal, color and sound so as to evoke the paranoid trips of early Roman Polanski and the vintage, pop-darkly appreciation of early Richard Linklater and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Bearing a title that is epic and playfully dry, The House of the Devil reconnects the horror genre with roots-y, genuine, teetering suspense. By doing so, West also manages to grasp viewers in the claws of doom by way of a foreboding graveyard or a pitch black basement, as opposed to, say, a phallic torture chamber aired simultaneously on forty live surveillance cameras. Stylistically, West forwent mining homage from the Grindhouse well—so exhausted this decade—and instead made a film set in the ’80s that not only looks period, but feels of it. The era’s mundane pace of life and lack of social interconnection can be sensed from the movie’s start and is incensed by the decade’s “Satanic Panic”: a media-exploited phenomenon that did for Satanism what coverage of the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam did for serial killers in the ’60s and ’70s. At Devil‘s heart is the lead performance by newcomer, Jocelin Donahue, 27, who gets my vote for movie crush of 2009. Donahue plays Samantha, a smart, unsure college sophomore in dire need of a payday who eventually responds—in that ’80s way—to a nondescript babysitter flyer. No one ever said that $atan doesn’t have great taste.

From the way in which Donahue walks in high-waisted jeans to the way Samantha and her BFF eat and critique pizza, it’s a luscious thrill to witness such a dope actress and director get it and get it some more. Moreover, West appears supported by one of the cooler, simpatico filmmaking crews working in indie films today. Unlike the stereotypical proto-auteur of past and present, West’s horror movie shines as both the work of a driven perfectionist and a clear vision by a superlative collective; this enables the viewer to fall into, and fall in love with, all the creepy, masterful foreplay before West’s plot rocks wildly alongside a devilish eclipse. Afterward, I desired to open a pack of THoTD trading cards showcasing the film’s collaborators and characters alike rather than scan IMDB. Ti West discussed his creative process with /Film, as well as the film’s titular House, its mystic pizza, and why his experience helming the yet-to-be-released Cabin Fever 2 was an effing nightmare straight outta Hell Hollywood.

Hunter Stephenson: Hi Ti. I found this to be a very uncompromising horror film. I think what many are finding to their surprise is that The House of the Devil is not an homage to the ’80s a la Thanksgiving but a real period piece.

Ti West: Thanks, I’m glad you see it like that because that’s how I see it: as a period piece. I appreciate that. I mean, the film is basically about a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s, the Satanic Panic. So, I wanted to create a very accurate depiction of that and not do it tongue-in-cheek, or as a parody, because then people wouldn’t care about the characters in the movie. That’s why there’s a really nice primer to the beginning of the film [explaining the Satanic Panic, complete with statistics], because so much of the film is a contrast between a lot of realism and then these very fantastic horror elements. And that’s why, with the beginning, I wanted it to feel like this is something that could have really happened.

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Tacked to the end of an unrelated story in the trades is first word that David Gordon Green‘s remake of Suspiria will begin shooting next year. This consciousness-altering bit of movie news was discovered by The Playlist. Curtsy. Green, who has managed to maintain his indie cred (Snow Angels) and establish box office pull and mainstream cachet (Pineapple Express), is currently in Ireland helming the Danny McBride stoner fantasia Your Highness for Universal. Last summer, I covered a rumor that Natalie Portman was cast as the lead in his Suspiria flick; as with today there was never a solid follow-up. However, Portman was later cast as the warrior princess/McBride’s unlikely love interest in Your Highness and previously expressed interest in the role.

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In July, director David Gordon Green begins shooting Your Highness in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Inspired by herb-friendly ’80s fantasies like Krull, Yor, and The Dark Crystal, the R-rated adventure-com centers on Danny McBride as a regal fuck-up who’s forced to save his kingdom and his brother’s fiancé. James Franco recently signed on—Pineapple Express reunion, natch—to play the feted, charming brother. And today, Natalie Portman is officially a lock to for McBride’s would-be love interest, described as a “warrior princess.” Some may recall that Portman was attached last year to headline Green’s remake of Dario Argento’s macabre, color-obsessed Supiria; that project remains on the back-burner. She’s currently producing and working on Hesher, a cool-sounding teen angst film co-starring Rainn Wilson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

McBride, who co-wrote Highness with Ben Best, has said that the supporting cast will consist of “serious” British actors to align with the film’s play-it-straight tone; in jest, he’s even compared the tone to Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. The movie’s SFX by Spectral Motion will go light on CGI (a welcome trend) and—a la the actor’s upcoming Land of the Lost—willl shoot on built-sets that are “huge and crazy.” This project easily makes my top-5 most anticipated. For more info on Your Highness, click here.

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