RKO Hopping on Horror Remake Bandwagon

Studio preps eight updates on Lewton-produced classics.

by | February 4, 2008 | Comments

Sick and tired of Screen Gems and Platinum Dunes remaking horror movies from the ’70s and ’80s? So is RKO Pictures — and thanks to its new interim WGA agreement, the studio is getting ready to do something about it.

That “something,” specifically, will take the form of more remakes — but not from the ’70s and ’80s, no sir; instead, RKO will be raiding its vaults for horror flicks from the ’40s, and has plans to update eight of Val Lewton‘s classic low-budget pictures. The list, per Variety, includes Lady Scarface (to be rewritten by Tony Puryear), While the City Sleeps (handled by Shin Shimosawa and Jim Morris), The Monkey’s Paw (scripted by Todd Farmer), and The Seventh Victim (writer TBD).

RKO chief Ted Hartley was mercifully upfront about the studio’s reasons for getting into the low-budget remake biz, telling Variety:

“We’ve got other projects at RKO, but we needed to get going on this. The most successful ROI in the movie business comes from scary movies that get wide release and cost under $10 million. We’ve studied it extensively for our stockholders and investors, and we saw the opportunity to take the rich Val Lewton library of scary thrillers and create a unique company out of it.”

According to Variety, all eight remakes will be produced over a 24-month period. No order (or distribution) has been announced, but production on the first movie is set to begin this fall.

Source: Variety