Ranking low among the remakes/reboots Hollywood has in some stage of development is Carrie, a new take on horror icon Stephen King’s first published novel, which was famously brought to life in an Oscar-nominated 1976 theatrical-release starring Sissy Spacek and directed by Brian De Palma. King’s book has also been the basis for a 1988 Broadway musical and a 2002 made-for-TV movie (originally, the pilot for a TV series).
Suffice it to say, interest in a new screen version of Carrie has been limited to non-existent, prior to now. However, word is in that MGM/Screen Gems has a very interesting choice in mind, with regards to the film’s potential director.
Deadline has learned that Kimberly Peirce has begun talks to direct Carrie for the studio(s). Peirce is best known for her critically-acclaimed 1999 movie, Boys Don’t Cry, a grim real-life female coming-of-age story that snagged Hilary Swank her first Best Actress Oscar; the filmmaker has since then only helmed a single episode of The L Word, along with the 2008 military drama Stop-Loss.
If Peirce were to sign on for Carrie, she would work from a screenplay penned by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, whose writing resume includes several episodes of the TV shows Glee and Big Love, along with some pivotal work on the (now, record-breaking) Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark that helped prevent that infamously-troubled production from becoming a complete disaster.
The new Carrie, as it were, is also apparently going the route of recent titles like True Grit, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and this summer’s Total Recall – by being more a true re-interpretation of the original source material, rather than just a remake of its cinematic predecessor(s). Sacasa is likewise also planning to remain more faithful to King’s novel than De Palma’s movie, as well as offering a more “grounded” iteration of the tale of a bullied teenage girl who takes revenge on her abusive peers (via newfound telekinetic powers).
King’s original Carrie literature is largely structured as an epistolary novel that tells the eponymous character’s story via historical documents (ex. letters, newspaper articles, etc). It will be interesting to see if Sacasa decides to embrace that format and perhaps script the new film adaptation as part faux documentary, along the lines of a title like District 9 - or, possibly, fellow upcoming coming-of-age novel-based project, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Even if Sacasa does go for a more traditional narrative structure with Carrie, he seems to have both the experience and proven ability to deliver a solid high school-set horror/drama. Similarly, if Peirce does sign on to direct, then you can rest assured: the movie will definitely be more of a truly down-to-earth and painful-to-watch (probably even brutal, at times) flick about a troubled young woman.
That’s all to say: while De Palma’s Carrie is a classic that will probably always be considered the definitive take on King’s story, this new film version is starting to sound like it has potential. Well, assuming those rumors about Megan Fox being sought for the title role turn out to be false, at least…
We will continue to keep you updated on the status of the Carrie reboot/remake as more information is released.