Greg Berlanti has carved out an impressive niche for himself in as the brains behind the so-called “Arrowverse” of DC Comics TV series, currently turning out big ratings for The CW and a generally positive reception. But if fans were expecting him to remain in the superhero genre, they’re now in for a surprise. Berlanti will instead make his feature directing debut with a remake of the horror-musical, Little Shop of Horrors.

The 1986 Little Shop of Horrors movie was an adaptation of a long-running off-Broadway production that puts a rock-musical twist on the premise of an infamous ’60s B-movie from director Roger Corman. In the story, a milquetoast florist shop employee named Seymour Krelborn becomes a celebrity for growing a bizarre undiscovered plant that rapidly grows to giant-size. Unknown to the rest of the world, the plant is actually a sentient alien being that eats human flesh to live – and while Seymour only intends for evil people and/or who’ve wronged him (or his loved ones) to be eaten, the plant has other plans.

Deadline is reporting that Berlanti has signed on to direct a remake of the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors movie – itself, directed by Frank Oz and starring Rick Moranis, as well as Ellen Greene. Matthew Robinson (The Invention of Lying) is writing the screenplay for what is being described as simply a “fresh take” on Little Shop of Horrors. It is not yet clear whether that means the film will include new and/or rearranged musical numbers (which were a major component of the 1986 movie).

Rick Moranis in Little Shop of Horrors Little Shop of Horrors Remake Being Directed by DCTVs Greg Berlanti

Bill Murray and Steve Martin also appeared in minor roles in the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors movie, with R&B legend Levi Stubbs memorably providing the voice of the monster plant, Audrey II. The plant itself was a famously elaborate full-sized mechanical puppet that required 60 operators at its largest scale (one ton in weight) and a unique filming process, wherein human actors had to move and deliver their lines in slow-motion in order to “match” the puppet’s movements and dialogue being artificially sped-up in post-production. It is unknown whether the new film will feature a similar practical Audrey II, or opt for CGI instead.

The original play was conceived by musician Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, whose songs and script were re-used for the film. However, while the original dark ending of the play (where the plant eventually wins and an army of monster plants begin an all-out global assault on humanity) was shot, the expensive sequence was originally scrapped by the studio and replaced with a happy ending, after test audiences reacted negatively. Considered famously “lost” for decades, the footage was restored for a 2012 DVD release.

We’ll keep you updated on The Little Shop of Horrors as more information becomes available.

Source: Deadline

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