Last month, Lionsgate announced that John Luessenhop (Takers) was in talks to direct The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D – and that the film would be a direct sequel to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 original, rather than the flashy 2003 remake from Platinum Dunes. Producer Carl Mazzocone indicated that he wanted to “re-conceive” the Leatherface character for a contemporary audience – so while it’s linked to the first film in the long-running series, the hope is that this interpretation will also serve as the foundation for a new franchise.

Kirsten Elms and Luessenhop have penned the most recent drafts of the script and initially all we knew about the story was that it involved a young woman named Heather traveling to Texas with her friends to collect an inheritance. Upon her arrival, Heather finds out that she’s related to Leatherface, and their family reunion presumably takes an incredibly ghastly turn.

What’s Playing now has some more detailed information regarding the plot of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D and it sounds like the project may have undergone a few changes. For better or worse, this installment definitely doesn’t stick to the established formula that most of the other entries have followed.

As expected, the gorier moments are designed to take full advantage of the 3D format (with various appendages flying at the screen) – but instead of being just another stalk-and-slash affair, the film is evidently more of a mystery. If you don’t want to know anything about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D before it hits theaters, you should probably stop reading now. There are no significant twists or other surprises revealed, but what follows is a fairly detailed description of the film’s set-up…

[SPOILERS FOLLOW]

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Early on, there were rumors that the film would begin with a prologue set immediately after Hooper’s original film and then jump forward to present day. It sounds like this is no longer the case and that the entire story takes place in a modern setting. It begins with an angry mob comprised of cops and townspeople descending on the home of Leatherface and the rest of his clan.

In this version, Leatherface’s real name is Jeb Stuart – and Hooper, the town’s sheriff, is willing to give him a fair trial for the crimes he’s accused of. However, mayor Burt Hartman has other ideas and he encourages the mob to dispense their own brand of justice. The house is burned to the ground, taking all of its residents with it.

It’s at this point that we’re introduced to our heroine, Heather – who’s described as “a bit of a hornbag” with “a taste for things of a darker nature” – which includes her rather disturbing collection of artwork. She learns of her connection to Leatherface and the rest of the family just as a new series of murders begin.

Hooper attempts to figure out whether or not Leatherface somehow survived the fire or if someone’s simply impersonating him. According to What’s Playing, this mystery element is one of the more impressive and successful aspects of the script.

[END SPOILERS]

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What’s Playing‘s report also confirms that Bill Moseley (who played Chop Top in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) will portray Drayton, Leatherface’s father, in this installment.  Continuity be damned, I suppose.

As it turns out, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D‘s connection to the original film might be a little bit more ambiguous than the way it was originally presented. It now seems fairly obvious how this storyline could work as the jumping off point for a new series of films (the roles of Heather and Hooper evidently come with an option for several sequels).

If there’s one thing the Friday the 13th series taught us, though, it’s that genre fans hate it when an iconic antagonist is replaced by an impostor or a stand in. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if that’s the direction that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D ultimately goes in.

If nothing else, at least this latest entry is attempting to break some new ground – while simultaneously serving up all of the mayhem one would expect from a film with the words “chainsaw” and “massacre” in its title.

Shooting is expected to begin soon, so we’ll keep you updated on the development of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.

Source: What’s Playing.