Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been a hot discussion topic over the past week, thanks to the prominence of his character in the third Dark Knight Rises trailer. The conversation concerning the in-demand actor should change a bit, though, now that new reports have revealed Levitt is playing an important creative role in an upcoming Little Shop of Horrors remake over at Warner Bros.
Roger Corman’s original 1960 cult B-movie The Little Shop of Horrors (supposedly inspired by John Collier’s 1932 story “Green Thoughts”) was the basis for a stage musical in 1982 – which in turn gave rise to Frank Oz’ Little Shop of Horrors film four years later. Levitt’s project, it seems, will be a revamping of the 1986 movie musical.
The Little Shop of Horrors musical takes place in New York City during the 1960s, following the misadventures of mild-mannered flower shop assistant Seymour Krelborn – after he discovers a strange plant (of mysterious origins) that grows into a giant, talking, monstrosity that feeds on human blood. Ghostbusters franchise alum Rick Moranis played Seymour in the 1986 film adaptation.
Oz’ Little Shop of Horrors also boasted such memorable elements as Steve Martin playing a masochistic, Elvis-like dentist – along with Oscar-nominated music from composer/lyricist duo Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and an ending that was substantially retooled, after negative test audience feedback to the original conclusion (carried over from the stage musical).
Levitt is currently said to be “developing” the Little Shop of Horrors remake, with the plan being that he will also play Seymour in the actual movie. There’s no director attached to the project as of yet, but that could quickly change now that a major player from Inception (among other films) is involved.
Ever since Levitt re-established himself as a credible adult character actor with Brick back in 2005, he’s gone on to become one of the most respected and in-demand young male leads in the biz. This year alone, Levitt will be appearing in the latest projects from heavy-hitters like Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises) and Steve Spielberg (Lincoln) – while also pulling leading man duties in David Koepp’s Premium Rush and Brick director Rian Johnson’s Looper.
Levitt looks to continue expanding his repertoire to include feature-length writing and directing, beginning with the upcoming Don Jon’s Addiction (which he will also headline). However, his decision to also push ahead with a retooling of a pretty beloved cult movie musical from the ’80s won’t win him any favors, as far as the initial reaction from the cinephile crowd goes.
Depending on what approach Levitt and Sacasa take to refashioning Oz’ Little Shop of Horrors movie (restoring the original, more gruesome ending from the stage musical seems a likely route), that may or may not change in the future.
We will keep you posted on the status of the Little Shop of Horrors remake as the story develops.