When the 2013 remake of Evil Dead was first announced, many fans of the original cult-classic directed by Sam Raimi in 1981 were a little taken aback, especially considering the fact that the new movie would be helmed by first time feature filmmaker Fede Alvarez. As luck would have it, the reboot of the seminal horror franchise was a winning success at the box office and a moderate marvel critically-speaking. This has subsequently launched the young Uruguayan director to new heights with his latest horror film Don’t Breathe, due out next month.
But horror genre features aren’t the only thing that Alvarez hopes to direct in the future, as he has been angling to make a live-action adaptation of the 14th century Italian epic poem Dante’s Inferno for quite some time now. Whether or not Dante Alighieri’s seminal work of literature would work as a modern feature film is still uncertain, which is why the project has remained in various stages of pre-production for some time now. However, Alvarez apparently isn’t ready to give up hope of ever making the movie yet.
Speaking to Screen Rant on the set of Don’t Breathe last year, Alvarez made it clear that he is still eager to direct a contemporary adaptation of Dante’s Inferno on film, but has been having some trouble figuring how to pitch the movie so that it will be able to reach the widest audience possible. Keeping the 2010 action-adventure video game published by Electronic Arts in mind, Alavarez hopes that his movie would prove to be a more faithful adaptation of the original work of poetry, though he recognizes the fact that many younger viewers might not immediately recognize the work by name alone.
Speaking to the creative process involved in making the film, Alvarez commented:
“I was working on that till the last second until I left for this movie. And we’re still working on it. It’s a big challenge. It’s a huge movie. And always the debate is: Does the world know what it is?… Universal bought the rights for the game, which I’ve never played. I don’t really know much about it. Then when I came onboard, I was like, ‘We should make a movie about the poem, not about the game. The game is fine, but it’s something better behind it.’
“And we went back to that and we started developing the script based on that. And a lot of the story, a lot of the script is…just now we’re still trying to find the way to do it for a big audience that it’s not just too big and it becomes impossible. Because, again, for me it’s no doubt; it’s the title. It’s Dante’s Inferno. Who doesn’t know what that is? But the younger audience may go like, ‘Dante who?’ So that’s the challenge right now, to figure that out.”
The task of marketing a live-action adaptation of Dante’s Inferno to moviegoers in the 21st century is not without its difficulties, and the way in which to pitch the film for unfamiliar audiences is a definite hurdle that would need to be surmounted. Then again, if Dante’s classic work can be made into a video game, surely a feature length adaptation with a up-and-coming director could succeed as well?
Alvarez will undoubtedly have some more work to do in the making of a Dante’s Inferno movie, but if he does go through with it the final production might prove to be one of the more intriguing adaptations in recent memory. Superheroes and long-standing genre franchises might be easier to sell, but adapting a 14th century poem into a feature length, blockbuster motion picture could be a hot ticket item – provided everything gets sorted out behind the scenes.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on Dante’s Inferno as development continues.