Poltergeist looks to join the increasingly long line of horror films to get a remake, right behind such titles as Carrie and Evil Dead. The remakes of those films made an appearance at the 2012 New York Comic-Con, in part to counter resistance against reworking these scary flicks. Evil Dead was more successful at that task – thanks in part to the efforts of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell – while the Carrie remake (watch the teaser) still has a ways to go.
Raimi, as it were, is also producing the Poltergeist remake for MGM. The project has failed to move beyond the early stages of development over the past four years, despite the efforts of several different writers. However, that should change now, thanks to the involvement of power-players like Raimi and producer Roy Lee (The Ring, The Grudge, Old Boy).
Previous reports confirming Raimi as producer on Poltergeist indicated the script is now being handled by David Lindsay-Abaire, the playwright/screenwriter behind projects varying from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play and movie adaptation Rabbit Hole (which, for those unaware, is about a couple grieving the loss of their child) and the animated family-friendly flick Robots. Raimi came close to directing Rabbit Hole, while Abaire did some writing on Raimi’s abandoned Spider-Man 4. However, the two finally teamed formerly on the upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful (which Raimi directed and Abaire co-wrote).
Shock Till You Drop caught up with Abaire at a screening for next month’s Rise of the Guardians (which he helped adapt for the screen), where he confirmed that he is indeed writing the Poltergeist redo. Abaire also clarified that he’s starting from scratch, rather than drawing from previous script drafts, and intends to honor the original 1982 film with his take.
Abaire is an appropriate choice to write the Poltergeist remake, given his knack for creating believable family dynamics; not to mention, his ability to tackle stories varying from all-audiences-appropriate to mature adult-oriented fare. The original film directed by Tobe Hooper (who worked from a screenplay co-written by Steven Spielberg) is very much a Spielberg-ian mix of lighter and darker plot elements, so it’s reasonable to assume the remake will take a similar approach.
Therein, of course, lies the problem. Many people feel Poltergeist holds up fine, so taking a similar approach makes the redo seem all the more unnecessary. On the other hand, taking the story in a more grim and disturbing direction (closer to Evil Dead) might be perceived as too drastic a departure from Hooper’s movie. That is to say, Poltergeist is in the same boat as most other upcoming horror remakes (as far as justifying its existence goes).
More on the Poltergeist remake as the story develops.
Source: Shock Till You Drop