seyfried-hardwicke

Almost a year ago Catherine Hardwicke signed with Warner Bros. and Appian Way to direct The Girl with the Red Riding Hood, a “gothic retelling” of the Little Red Riding Hood story. There hasn’t been much public movement on the film since then, but Hardwicke is still attached, and the studio now has a lead actress in mind to get the film moving: Amanda Seyfried.

The LA Times says that original writer David Johnson is still working on the development process with Hardwicke, and that he has delivered a new draft of the script. Speaking about the script and reactions to it, the LAT drops references to both Twilight and Shutter Island, which is a pair of films about as different from one another as it’s possible to be. That makes me wonder how this is actually going to work out.

See, the studio naturally wants a Twilight sort of thing, and sees the film, as the LAT puts it, as a werewolf movie with the “requisite dark/dangerous/romantic elements that” appeal to Twilight fans. But the script is supposedly an upper level take on horror that calls back to the approach used for Shutter Island. These things are not the same. They are not of a piece. A genre exercise a la Scorsese’s latest would be a smart, adult take that uses genre as a jumping-off point for a more layered story. Twilight is, well, Twilight.

The connective tissue might be Hardwicke, and Seyfried, if she signs on. In Hardwicke’s Twilight, there were scenes between Bella and her father that were a lot more effective than most of the rest of the film. With Seyfried, who can be so expressive when given a reason (or command), Hardwicke might actually be able to craft a film that can retain some intrigue and genuine gothic atmosphere while also courting the Twi-hards.

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