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Max Landis is remaking An American Werewolf in London

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Max Landis is the screenwriter who wrote the excellent Chronicle. He also wrote American Ultra, Mr Right, Victor Frankenstein and Me Him Her, none of which set the box office alight. He is also the creator and showrunner for the American adaptation of Douglas Adams’ science fiction detective comedy novel series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

He is a prolific writer (here is a list of some of the things he has written) with over 74 written and quite a few sold. Of course there is the whole quantity vs quality debate, but we will leave that for another day. He seems to be one of those people you either love or hate. I don’t mind him too much, but he is quite manic on his many YouTube videos.

If you didn’t already know, you may have realised that he is the son of John Landis, director of the 1981 classic, An American Werewolf In London.

It turns out that Universal have decided to reboot the film and Max is set to write and direct it, while The Walking Dead producers Robert Kirkman and David Albert are producing through their Skybound Entertainment banner.

I don’t have a problem with remakes, but when it is a very much loved film such as this I do wonder what the studios are thinking. Well, of course the answer to that is money. People are going to see it either way – they will want to see a werewolf movie with a decent budget or want to go and see it in the hope it sucks big time so they can then crow about it on the Internet.

Personally, I can see a remake working for the film, although An American Werewolf in Paris absolutely sucked so they need to watch that one and don’t do any of that kind of thing. Plus you need to go with the practical effects. That was one of the most talked about things of the original – the transformation scene. If they bottle out with that and go the CG way, then they have already lost. They need to learn from The Thing prequel, which used loads of practical effects while they were filming yet they went over them with CG. Idiots.

My problem with this is Max Landis directing. Does he have the chops and expertise to do it right? He directed Me Him Her, which was a comedy, and the original American Werewolf was a horror comedy, but I just don’t know. I am not feeling it. We have seen, with Chronicle, that he can write a decent story, but with the likes of American Ultra and Mr Right, he seems to have his own particular set of quirks and future cliches if he is not careful.

Another thing, if I was the son of a famous film director who had made a popular horror film, would remaking it be the best way to step out from under his shadow? Sure, if the new film did well it would be a hell of a statement, but if it failed how would that effect someone like Max Landis? It is a hell of a gamble.

The project is still very much in early development.

I know that Universal are working on a shared Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe with The Mummy heading our way. I am not sure what they are doing with The Wolf Man, but this would be a good opportunity to bring the Werewolf in to that series of things and also make it a bit different from the original.

What are your thoughts on Max Landis remaking the film?

Via THR

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2 Comments

  1. I worked on the original and was there for the climactic Piccadilly Circus night-fight, plus several friends were in the film so I have a special place for it in my heart – a remake doesn’t affect the original, which will always be there.

    • Very cool to have worked on it and well said about the remake. The original will still be there no matter how the remake turns out

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