Horror movies get remembered, legends never die. They just get endlessly rebooted instead. Take Leatherface, the current horror icon du jour whose mythos has been deemed ripe for recalibration; Hollywood has been tinkering with the character since the aughts, blundering through Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes before shifting him from an Ed Gein surrogate to a misunderstood anti hero in 2013’s Texas Chainsaw 3D. Meanwhile, Lionsgate made rumblings just last week about hunting down a scribe to put pen to paper on yet another possible update to his backstory.
Turns out those rumblings were pretty serious. Flash forward to today, and now it sounds like the newly gestating film not only has a screenwriter, but it also has its title. Saddled with the straightforward moniker of Leatherface, the picture’s screenwriting duties will be handled by newcomer Seth M. Sherwood. Millennium Films will provide the financing for production; given the studio’s history of co-producing with Lionsgate, it’s not unreasonable to guess that Leatherface will end up another joint effort between both companies.
Word on these fresh developments comes from The Wrap. Apart from name and appellation, there’s not much else that the film’s producers are willing to talk about for the time being; that said, it’s crystal clear that the plan for Leatherface going forward will be to chronicle the chainsaw wielding maniac’s “early years”, which comes close to lining up with Lionsgate’s original statement of intent.
But there’s a greater degree of ambiguity to Millennium’s phrasing than Lionsgate’s; if there existed any doubt over whether fans would be treated to an exploration of Jed Sawyer’s teenage ennui, now there should exist a good bit more. Leatherface could just be about a twenty something Jed, adrift as an emerging adult and trying to find his way in life from the business end of a chainsaw. Everyone knows how tough things can get when you’re out on your own in the real world for the first time. How much tougher can they get when you’re a vicious cannibal with innate psychotic urges?
Alternately, Leatherface could end up going the Bates Motel route and bring audiences back to Jed’s teen years. This actually seems like the sounder choice; the notion that Leatherface settled on practicing human charcuterie for a living out of the blue seriously strains credulity. That’s saying something for a franchise has, since its inception in 1974, ballooned one serial killer’s criminal notoriety into a handful of movies each more over the top than the last. (Nothing in the series tops Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation for sheer weirdness.)
So while details are being kept under lock and key, it seems safe to conjecture that Leatherface will do for Jed Sawyer what A&E’s sleeper hit show has done for Norman Bates. Odds are, Jed’s upbringing will look a lot grimier, but it’s hard to imagine how the film will successfully fuse his coming of age with his penchant for turning people into barbeque.
Maybe Sherwood, a recent addition to the “Blood List” (Tinseltown’s annual collection of unproduced horror scripts), has a neat hook for making the concept work. On the other hand, he might have a completely different idea up his sleeve, so take all of this well salted.
We’ll keep you in the loop about Leatherface as more information becomes available.
Source: The Wrap