Matt Reeves has locked down his next project, which (sorry, fans) will not be Cloverfield 2. He will instead write and direct an adaptation of Ray Nelson’s short sci-fi story “8 O’Clock in the Morning” – otherwise known as the basis for John Carpenter’s 1988 sci-fi/horror cult classic, They Live.
The good news for fans of Carpenter’s film is that Reeves’ project isn’t considered a remake, but rather a more loyal and fresh adaptation of the original source material. So it’s similar to last year’s True Grit remake and the upcoming remakes of Logan’s Run and Total Recall, in that regard. Wait… ;-)
Deadline says that Reeves has signed a deal with Universal to adapt Nelson’s story, which revolves around a man who wakes up one morning with the realization that extraterrestrials have infiltrated human society and control our everyday existence. Plot points that were created specifically for They Live – like the use of super-powered glasses to distinguish the aliens from regular people – will not be present in Reeves’ project.
Here are Reeves’ thoughts on the matter:
“I saw an opportunity to do a movie that was very point-of-view driven, a psychological science fiction thriller that explores this guy’s nightmare. There could be a desperate love story at the center of this. Carpenter took a satirical view of the material and the larger political implication that we’re being controlled. I am very drawn to the emotional side, the nightmare experience with the paranoia of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ or a Roman Polanski-style film.”
Reeves delved directly into remake territory last year with Let Me In, which was overall a decent film that did not match the quality of its inspiration, Let the Right One In. He may have more success attracting the attention of moviegoers with his next project, since it sounds like more of a straight-faced paranoia sci-fi thriller than anything else.
They Live, by comparison, is more of a fast and loose sci-fi/horror action flick that also offers a healthy dose of popcorn entertainment value – not to mention, one of the greatest cheesy ad-libbed lines you’re likely to ever hear in a film.
In case you don’t know what line I’m referencing, watch the clip from They Live (NOTE: It contains a bit of NSFW violence) below:
The comparison between Reeves’ project and the new Total Recall seems the most appropriate, since both will stick closer to the details of the original sci-fi literature that inspired them – in comparison to their cinematic predecessors, that is. We’ll see if that’s enough to convince moviegoers that they are not just unnecessary remakes, but instead truly fresh interpretations.
We’ll keep you posted on the status of Reeves’ not-a-remake of They Live.