Sam Raimi to Produce ‘Poltergeist’ Remake

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 24th, 2013 at 9:59 am,

Even as Hollywood continues to be racked with remake/reboot fever, there have only been rumblings here and there about the Poltergeist remake. That’s quite the change from three years ago, when the project was briefly scheduled to hit theaters in 2010 – only to end up being delayed indefinitely.

That looks to change, now that Sam Raimi is committed to producing (but not directing, as some news sources have been reporting) a revamping of the 1982 supernatural horror flick, which was directed by Tobe Hooper and based on an original story conceived by Steven Spielberg.

Heat Vision has the scoop on Raimi boarding the Poltergeist remake train, which will also be produced by Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell collaborators Nathan Kahane and Robert Tapert, along with frequent Japanese horror remake backer Roy Lee (The Ring, The Grudge, Dark Water, etc.). Not-so-coincidentally, the co-writer of Raimi’s upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful, David Lindsay-Abaire, is penning the latest script draft for the Poltergeist remake.

Raimi, as many reading this are probably well aware of, is also producing a remake of his own 1980s horror cult classic, The Evil Dead. Similarly, MGM is the studio behind the impending Carrie remake/re-interpretation – which has managed to snag a star, director and release date in recent months – and is probably now looking to fast-track Poltergeist for production, considering the big names that’ve been assembled to back the project.

poltergeist remake Sam Raimi to Produce Poltergeist Remake

Until we know more about what approach the Poltergeist remake will take to refashioning the original movie – or who’s going to be sitting in the director’s chair – it’s hard to say whether or not this flick abides by Screen Rant‘s Top 5 Rules For Movie Remakes. Carrie‘s themes could benefit from being “modernized” for the 21st century, whereas the Evil Dead remake is taking a significantly different approach to the original story.

Poltergeist, by comparison, isn’t a story that immediately reads as potentially being that different, when the setting is “modernized” for an age full of new technology; as Insidious demonstrated last year, stories about haunted houses in the suburbs haven’t exactly changed a whole lot over the past three decades. Similarly, the portrayal of angry spirits and specters in cinema remains much the same as it ever was (unlike vampires, a la the Fright Night remake).

That’s all to say: until more is revealed about exactly what “new ideas” the Poltergeist remake will be bringing to the table, this reads as one recycling of an older property that’s not really worth getting excited about.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Do you really have to question the fact of Evil Dead being a cult classic?
    Is that even a question at all???

    • It’s a good point. I’m not even sure why I included the question mark on the “cult” part, truth be told.

      I’ve gone ahead and changed that.

  2. I’ve enjoyed a couple of recent remakes (and some not-so-recent ones as well), so I hate having the knee-jerk reaction “oh know they di’nt!” as far as Poltergeist is concerned.

    My problem with a remake of Poltergeist is that… well, I just don’t see any reason to remake it. I think the practical effects were great, they still hold up quite well (and better than some CGI effects). The soundtrack was one of Jerry Goldsmith’s masterpieces (along with Alien and Legend). And Spielberg’s back-seat directing (you have to admit it, Hooper was NOT the “real” director of this film. His name is there as a placeholder for Spielberg, who was at the time contractually obligated to other work and forbidden from officially working on Poltergeist)

    All of that said, a remake COULD be great. I am willing to keep a very open mind. But I see so many things going wrong with this remake. The original had iconic music, iconic imagery, the emotional tone it set was unique. Those are some pretty big shoes to fill.

    • Mike, I’m pretty much with you all the way. Poltergeist was great, and of course I bought the DVD. I would definitely watch a remake; however, I don’t think a remake would be as good, and therefore do not really see any reason why this one needs a remake. Sometimes you just can’t improve on a classic. I could probably think of numerous other horror novels that need desperately to be made into a movie….! Big shoes to fill, indeed!

  3. Growing up 2 of the 1st horror films I had ever seen were Carrie and Poltergeist. I know looking back they don’t seem all that scary but dear lord that clown rattled me as a kid.
    So seeing those films are so near and dare to my heart because those are 2 of the 3 films that turned me into the horror buff that I am I’m not really to thrilled with the idea of them being remade.
    I won’t swear them off automatically because at least they’re not being done by Platinum Dune but I’ll only let myself get excited when and if we start seeing some footage that looks pretty good.

  4. This is just getting absurd. As Mike E mentioned, the original holds up quite well so a remake is unnecessary and unwanted.

    I can understand doing a remake to take advantage of some new technology but once you have the best version, all you can do is equal it but most likely it will not rise to the level of the original.

    As an example I present Ben Hur. An old film by today’s standards, having been released in 1959 but it is STILL a classic and worth watching every time it shows up on TV. This version was a remake of the much earlier 1925 original but it was remade with a large Hollywood budget, star actors and to be shot in techni-color (that was a big thing back in the day). For this story, the 1959 movie is as good as it will ever get so there is a reason why no one has even attempted a remake since then. Likewise there are just certain movies that should be left alone and I would Poltergeist among them.

    All this is is a Hollywood bereft of ideas returning to older hit movies to rehash for a quick buck. This gambit failed with shows Fright Night, Conan the Barbarian, Flight of the Phoenix (original was excellent btw), Footloose, Planet of the Apes, and many more so why do they keep trying this?

  5. The Poltergeist curse better not strike this and kill Bruce Campbell.

  6. Why, why…by all that is holey (or unholey for that matter) WHY?!!! Of any movie should be remade, why this one? Just as Kevin7 stated this is one I old near and dear, one that tuned me on to sci-fi and horror. If a remake/reboot is to be done why not choose a title that was decent but didn’t quite hit the mark (Enemy Mine…anyone,anyone?). There’s a reason they’re called “classics” and Polterguist is right up on that list (alongside Alien, Ghostbusters…). If you want to revisit the franchise, fair enough (Prometheus) but enough of the remake/reboots. Shucks, I wouldn’t mind seeing Carolanne(spelling?) grown starting a family of her own and getting a visit from her old “friends”. Just let the origonal be, please. Oh Hollywood, how far you have fallen! (picture me powdering up my hand and giving Hollywood a collective b***h-slap!) WAP!

    • Don’t mean to be pedantic but I think “Holy” is the word you’re looking for.


      But yes totally agree, no need for a remake with this one.

  7. Do you think after this any one who makes a remake winds up getting ill from a rare disease?

    • Lets Not jinx things more than they already are…

  8. Damn It Screen Rant!

    File this under,

    “Reboots, Remakes and Re-imagins That Nobody Asked For: Poltergeist Edition”

  9. And what happened to The Shadow movie that Raimi was gonna make? I’ll believe any of this stuff, when I see any of it. There is always a never ending amount of talk about what Sam is up to and he never really seems to be doing much of anything.

  10. Can we just remake movies that sucked, instead of good classics?

    • I really do agree with that.

    • Could NOT agree more!! What’s next? Indiana Jones? Jurassic Park? Poltergeist is a great film and doesn’t need to be improved. Hollyweird really has run out of ideas.

  11. What ever happened to raimi’s sasquatch film The Refuge he was going to make?

  12. If they could find some new spin on it, I’d be optimistic, but I have the feeling this is just gonna be some clunky do-over with minor new parts arbitrarily and lazily added on like with “The Omen” or “Psycho.”

  13. Why?

    This is one film that doesn’t need to be remade, it was brilliant, had a great mix of humour and scary. One of Spielberg’s best.

    Two thumbs down on a remake.

    • actually, you know, the idea of “humour” is what scares me the most about Raimi being involved in the remake.

      The humour in Poltergeist was used completely outside the context of the actual haunting. The ghosts never gave you any reason to smirk at them or chuckle. THEY were terrifying (or sad and heart-breaking… like the stairway ghosts).

      The moments of humour in Poltergeist were what made the entire situation so “real”. The construction worker through the kitchen window, the little bickering between the kids, the charming way Carrie-Anne reacted to her dead canary (“can we get a goldfish now!” bare seconds after the pouring tears).

      I’d be afraid of skittering disembodied hands, horrible banshees with silly sound-effects, and most of all, over-the-top camera effects that take you completely out of the story and remind you that you’re watching a movie by Sam Raimi.

  14. The dad has to be played by Michael Fassbender…

    • Good choice. I could see it..

  15. This film does not need to be remade at all. The original one still holds up today.

  16. I think a remake could be a smart move but only with the right people behind it, frankly Sam Raimi and

    David Lindsay-Abaire are not suitable. Sam Raimi’s approach to horror is somewhat comical, eventhough I am a fan of his, his style would not be suitable to a project like this. As for David Lindsay-Abaire, well, he has never written a screenplay for this Genre.

    No in my opinion, the best talent that should be attached for this project are James Wan and Leigh Whannell (the boys who created the SAW franchise). They have proven to be a talented duo in the horror genre. James to direct and Leigh to write the screenplay (he wrote both SAW and Insidious).

    Whether you liked you Insidious or not, you can’t disput on a $1.5M budget they did a competent job. Given a much bigger budget…..

  17. Let see how is the Poltergeist Remake look like.

    I will be waiting for it and surely see it once…I love to watch horror movies:-)

  18. Oh f****** no….