Phew: The Grudge and Flatliners Get Rebooted; Scary Movie 5 Gets Screenwriters
08.28.11 by Ryan
When Takashi Shimizu remade his 2003, Japanese horror movie Ju-on: The Grudge into the 2004 American horror movie The Grudge, the Japanese director helped solidify the J-horror movement that started in the States with the 2002 remake of The Ring.
Shimizu followed his success with the Grudge by directing 2006's The Grudge 2, but chose just to produce (along with franchise producer Sam Raimi) the direct-to-DVD 2009 sequel, The Grudge 3. While the third installment was a financial success, critics hated it, with one review calling it "an underwhelming cash-in".
Rather than plan another sequel, however, Bloody-Disgusting reports that Raimi's Ghosthouse Pictures is planning another remake of the original Ju-on movie. Whether Shimizu will return for this Grudge is unknown as is whether the latest remake will go straight-to-DVD or have a theatrical run. A third question might be, does anyone want to see another Grudge?
Another reboot in the works is that of director Joel Schumacher's 1990 sci-fi horror movie Flatliners. Deadline reports that Sony has hired screenwriter Ben Ripley to write a "contemporary reimagining" of the movie, which followed Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt, Billy Baldwin and Kevin Bacon as medical students who play around with near-death experiments where they bring back something back from the grave with them once they are revived.
Upon its release 21 years ago, Flatliners did good business ($61 million on a $26 million budget), but never spawned any sequels. While it may seem unnecessary to remake the movie even 21 years later, Ripley is an intriguing choice for a screenwriter, after penning the surprisingly successful sci-fi movie Source Code, which, despite its complicated premise, earned $124 million in worldwide box office. With Ripley writing the remake, it's possible that the Flatliners remake won't be a complete retread.
Even the casual observer might look at Scary Movie 5 as an attempt at a cash-grab by a movie studio, an assessment that may not be too far off. The Weinstein Company experienced some money troubles at the beginning of this decade, eventually selling off the rights to 200 of the 350 movies in their library to leverage their debt, but before greenlighting sequels to their main franchises. Scream 4 hit theaters in April, while Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World opened last weekend. Up next is Halloween 3-D and Scary Movie 5, both of which received release dates in June.
The first step is to write a script, and Bloody-Disgusting reports that the Weinstein Company have hired three screenwriters for the task — TV writers Stephen Leff, John Aboud (Leverage) and Michael Colton (Leverage). Additionally, the report claims that David Zucker, who directed both 2006's Scary Movie 4 and 2003's Scary Movie 3, will not return for another Scary Movie 5.
There could be familiar faces for the fifth installment, as reportedly the studio is hoping to bring back actors Anthony Anderson (Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, Scream 4), Kevin Hart (Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4) and franchise mainstay Regina Hall (all four Scary Movies). No cast has been confirmed yet, as the script is in the works.
The trio of screenwriters will have to type quickly, however, as the April 20, 2012, release date for Scary Movie 5 isn't too far away. If the sequel doesn't make the release date, the writers may have the remakes of The Grudge and Flatliners to use as fodder.