Remake Bits: 'Evil Dead,' 'Poltergeist,' 'Ninja Turtles,' And 'Total Recall'

It's a nice slow day for remake news, which means we only have a couple stories instead of a big page full. After the break,

  • Sam Raimi promises a wildly bloody Evil Dead remake,
  • He also says Poltergeist is moving along, if slowly,
  • Delayed Ninja Turtles seems to have had a pretty dire original script, according to one review,
  • And original Total Recall director Paul Verhoeven calls the remake "not very good."
  • It's really bloody. It's so bloody, it will make your head spin. I've seen almost all the dailies and they're really going for it. It's gonna be grisly and intense and non-stop.

    Raimi has often been self-deprecating about his work on The Evil Dead, and asked about the differences between the new one and his original films, Raimi talks again about the fact that he was young and inexperienced when he made the original. He sums up saying,

    I was very happy with it, but it was something that was crudely done and I thought deserved re-exploration. I thought it would be fun and, in fact, it has turned out to be a tremendous amount of fun because it's like an old melody that you write and you've brought in this really great, cool, young, hip jazz musician, and he's riffing on it and showing you places it could go that you never dreamed. It's very exciting for me.

    And asked about the remake of Poltergeist that Raimi is producing, he says,

    David Lindsay-Abaire is working on the screenplay, and I'm hoping to have a draft by around the first of October.

    A TMNT fan site (via ScreenCrush) or, more properly, a couple of TMNT fans who started a site to voice their opposition to the "alien turtles" ideas in the proposed and pushed back Ninja Turtles film, got eyeballs on the script that was turned in and reportedly caused the project to be delayed.

    Suffice to say, the comments aren't kind, They point out that the Shredder is a guy named Colonel Schrader," that the big introduction in the film goes to Casey Jones, "an 18 year old security guard for a furniture factory and amateur hockey player," and that Casey gives the turtles color-coded masks so he can tell them apart, and because it's a cool idea like in Reservoir Dogs. (That reference is in the script.) Casey almost sounds like the lead, with April being his girlfriend who is moving to NYC. And, yeah, the turtles are aliens from Dimension X. They also happen to be the chosen ones of their race. No matter what you think of the property, most of the ideas sound pretty bad.

    Even TMNT co-creator Peter Laird didn't care for the script ideas as reported, as he was pointed to the review and commented,

    Someone else alerted me to the existence of this script, and I just a few minutes ago finished reading it. If it is, in fact, the actual draft that was rejected and caused the production of the next TMNT movie to be pushed back to 2014 because the script was unsatisfactory, then I think all true TMNT fans should be grateful to the new "powers that be" that they did not allow this wretched thing to go any further. It could definitely be taken as a good sign if that is the case. It reminds me of one of the reasons I am glad to not own the property anymore... because I don't have to tear what little hair I have left out while trying to fix junk like this. — PL

    And if you're wondering whether the script in question is legit, the site hosting it got a takedown notice from Paramount, which supports the idea that it was the real deal.

    Finally, Paul Verhoven appeared for a Q&A session after a recent LA screening of his original Total Recall. The director isn't much of a fan of the remake, saying,

    Arnold being there made the movie a little light, and I think that's very important for these Philip Dick stories. I think if it would have been done in a straight way, I'm not so sure that it would have worked – at least, not at that time. And recently [in the Total Recall remake], it did not. I get to say that because the producer of the new one said that this was cheesy or something. And Colin Farrell called it in an interview 'kitschy.' So I dare to say that his version was not good.

    Movieline has a great account of the Q&A, which has some good info from Verhoeven and screenwriter Ronald Schussett about Total Recall, Arnie, the never-made The Crusades, and other films.