Just as Norwegian director Andre Ovredal’s well-received “found footage” flick Troll Hunter officially begins a limited theatrical run in the U.S. today, there comes news that the rights to an American remake have already been purchased.
Chris Colombus (director of the first two Home Alone and Harry Potter movies) has acquired said remake rights through his 1492 Pictures production company. There’s no word yet on whether or not he plans to direct it himself, though.
Troll Hunter is a mockumentary that follows a trio of Norwegian college students as they investigate a man they believe to be an illegal bear poacher. However, it turns out the fellow in question is actually a special government employee charged with keeping the local troll population in check – and making sure the general public remains unaware that the fantastical creatures actually exist.
Deadline says that Marc Haimes (producer of Men in Black II and The Legend of Zorro) is set to script the remake of Troll Hunter, which is more of an intentionally comical adventure than similar vérité-style mockumentaries like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield.
It’s actually a bit disappointing to hear that Columbus won’t be scripting the remake himself, seeing how he was responsible for writing some pretty entertaining adventure tales that mixed thrills, chills, and laughs back in the 1980s (see: Gremlins, The Goonies).
Troll stories and legend are firmly rooted in Scandinavian folklore, so it would be odd if the Troll Hunter remake were to try and use America as its setting. Chances are good that the film will instead revolve around a trio of U.S. college students who are visiting Norway (possibly, as part of some foreign-exchange program) when they uncover a government conspiracy to keep the existence of trolls under wraps. Whether or not the remake will try and be more of a straight-faced supernatural horror-adventure than the original Troll Hunter is another matter – though it probably will retain the amateur filmmaking aesthetic.
The foreign-language Troll Hunter is an exciting and entertaining cinematic ride in its own right; it even boasts some pretty decent visual effects, considering its cheap production cost. It’s not a film that jumps out as something that could readily be (or needs to be) improved – but how often is that really the case with Hollywood remakes nowadays?
On a less cynical note: A Troll Hunter remake would help draw more attention to the original film in a way, and could be fun for moviegoers who were never able to see its Norwegian counterpart on the big screen. So take that as you will.
The original Troll Hunter can currently be watched on Video On Demand through local cable providers.