Love them or hate them, remakes will never die. That’s what they have in common with classic horror movie icons like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. These 15 remakes are helping to keep horror legends alive and to introduce them to a new generation, rather than creating a completely original story. Some of these are even remakes of remakes – because if it doesn’t work the first time you remake it, try, try again.
There are a frightening number of remakes coming out. This list of 15 definitely doesn’t include all of them. Some notable ones that didn’t make this list are Alice, Sweet Alice, American Psycho, An American Werewolf in London, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and Death Wish. These are just a few more horror classics being remade.
The majority of the horror remakes on this list are most likely happening. Some are more tentative than others. They may end up in development hell, but for now, these horror movies appear to be in the works.
Check out these 15 Classic Horror Movie Remakes You Didn’t Know Were Coming.
15. A Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Krueger has been haunting people’s dreams since the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise started in 1984. He is a dead serial child killer who comes back with the ability to haunt people’s dreams – and if you die in the dream, you die in real life. Even after seven movies, a battle with Jason, and a 2010 reboot, filmmakers still aren’t done with Freddy.
Five years after the reboot was panned by both fans and critics (though the film still made over $115 million worldwide on a $35 million budget), it was announced that another reboot to the franchise was in the works. New Line Cinema has scrapped the previous reboot in favor of starting anew. According to The Tracking Board, David Lee Nelson (The Orphan, Clash of the Titans) has been tapped to write the screenplay.
In an interview with Bleeding Cool, the original Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund, expressed an interest in being part of the new film, commenting: “I would certainly like to be invited to do a cameo, to maybe play the cantankerous old professor or the group therapy guy that doesn’t believe they’re having nightmares. I think it would be fun for the audience.”
14. I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) is a slasher film based loosely on the young adult suspense novel of the same name. It’s about a group of kids who accidentally run over a man and cover up the hit-and-run by throwing his body into a lake. Years later, their transgressions seem to be catching up to them as a fisherman with a hook for a hand comes after them. The movie was followed up by I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006), which was very loosely connected to the first two movies.
Deadline released the information that Sony Pictures will be remaking the film. The writer will be Mike Flanagan (co-director/writer for Oculus) and his partner Jeff Howard. Neal Moritz, the producer for the Fast and Furious franchise, will be producing I Know What You Did Last Summer. According to Flanagan in an interview with Creators.co, “It’s a really neat take. It’s a whole new deal. We’re not interested in doing the same thing again with the eliminated teenagers and the fisherman.”
13. Friday the 13th
Jason Voorhees has stalked Camp Crystal Lake with his machete held high for decades. The Friday the 13th franchise has survived 12 movies, including a crossover with Freddy and a reboot in 2009. The franchise, with the exception of the first film, has Jason as our killer. He drowned in the lake as a boy because the camp counselors weren’t looking after him. He comes back to exact his revenge on the counselors and anyone else who gets in his way.
A television show scheduled to air on The CW was recently canceled. But the remake is still in the works. It has been in development hell for awhile, but Paramount Pictures are sticking to a 2017 release date. Recently, there’s been more movement on the project, with Breck Eisner (son of former Paramount and Disney boss Michael Eisner) in talks to become the director of the film. He previously directed the remake of zombie master George Romero’s The Crazies (2010) and the fantasy/action movie The Last Witch Hunter (2015). The film will explore Jason’s origins for the umpteenth time and will involve his mother, Pamela Voorhees, though there will be updates and changes made to their characters.
Based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name, It (1990) was adapted into a television mini-series with Tim Currey playing “It,” a creature that usually takes the form of Pennywise the Clown. The story focuses on the past and present history of seven characters, who are all part of “The Losers Club.” In their town, “It” is exploiting children’s fears and killing unsuspecting victims.
Warner Bros. announced back in 2009 that a remake for the film was going to be made. It was questionable whether this movie would ever come to be when director Cary Fukunaga left the production because of creative differences with the studio. However, Andrés Muschietti (Mama) took over as director on the project. The film will be split into two parts, one with the characters as children and one with the characters as adults. Bill Skarsgård (Hemlock Grove) is playing “It” and a picture of Pennywise was recently unveiled. The rest of the cast in the first film have been announced as well and includes Jaeden Lieberher (St. Vincent) as the child version of the leader of The Losers Club, Bill Denbrough.
11. The Grudge
The Grudge (2004) was a Japanese-American remake of the Japanese film Ju-On: The Grudge (2002). The supernatural horror film is about a curse that creates an entity when a person dies in extreme rage or sorrow. It passes on from victim to victim. The film starred Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as an American exchange student living in Tokyo. There were two sequels to the American film and one sequel to the Japanese original. A 2016 Japanese film, Sadako vs. Kayako (known in the states as The Ring vs. The Grudge) features a crossover between the two horror franchises.
Back in 2014, Ghost House Pictures and Good Universe announced they would be remaking The Grudge. Some of the producers worked on the original project, including Robert G. Tapert and Roy Lee. The film is set to be written by Jeff Buhler (Midnight Meat Train). He mentions in a Bloody Disgusting interview, “We’re not approaching this as a remake of the Sarah Michelle Gellar film or a remake of the Ju-On film…. This is pushing the mythology forward while keeping the concepts and spirit of those movies, yet finding a new way to tell a story within that world, which is exciting.”
10. Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire (1994) is based on the 1976 book by Anne Rice. This book is the first in a series of novels called The Vampire Chronicles. The story revolves around Louis de Pointe du Lac (played by Brad Pitt), a centuries old vampire who is telling his undead-story to a reporter. His history involves being turned into a vampire by Lestat (played by Tom Cruise), who earns his named as “The Brat Prince.” Future books in the series focus heavily on Lestat, including The Vampire Lestat (1985) and Queen of the Damned (1988), which was also turned into a movie in 2002.
Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars, New Mutants) will be directing the remake of Interview with the Vampire. He wrote the screenplay with Jill Killington, with whom he also wrote All We Had (2016) together. The film will combine the first two books in The Vampire Chronicles: Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. It will be called Vampire Chronicles. Rumor has it that Lestat will be played by Jared Leto. who previously won an Oscar for playing an HIV-positive transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club (2013). He recently played the Joker in Suicide Squad (2016), and his on-set antics have caused a lot of uproar. Leto is a method actor who puts a lot of energy into his craft so casting him as Lestat would be a coup for this remake.
9. The Crow
The Crow (1994) is about the brutal murder of musician Eric Draven and his fiancee, carried out by a gang the night before their wedding. Rising from the dead, Eric becomes the supernatural avenger known as the Crow. He goes on a quest for vengeance, murdering members of the gang. Eric was played by Brandon Lee, who sadly died on the set of the film because of a defective blank round. There have been a couple of sequels, including The Crow: Stairway to Heaven (1996) and The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005).
The remake for The Crow may be stuck in development hell, but it keeps trying hard to climb its way out, despite facing numerous legal problems. It was first announced to be written/directed by Stephen Norrington, but he has since stepped down. The latest director of the film, Corin Hardy (The Hallow), left the project. But the remake may still happen and Hardy may return to the project.
8. The Birds
One of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic films, The Birds (1963) is about wealthy San Francisco socialite Melanie Daniels. She goes on a trip with her potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town. Their romance getaway is ruined when birds begin attacking people in the town. It was adapted from a short story by Daphne Du Maurier. There was also a TV movie remake, The Birds 2: Land’s End (1994).
The remake for the film has been in the works for a while now. It is being produced by Michael Bay as well as Platinum Dunes, Mandalay, and Universal. The most recent director attached to the film is Dutch director Diederik Van Rooijen (Daylight, Taped). He spoke with Deadline about the film and how it stalled: “Oh yes; since Last House on the Left I’ve been attached to several studio projects, The Birds being the biggest of those projects. And yeah, it was taking a long time; you can’t rush something like The Birds so I realized I needed to keep writing and keep working. It’s good to have those studio projects moving forward but you also have to do some other stuff for yourself, or at least that’s how I see it.”
7. Creature from the Black Lagoon
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) is a sci-fi horror film about a prehistoric beast living in the Amazonian jungle. Several scientists attempt to capture the creature in order to study it. The creature is a classic movie monster that would fit right in with Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman. People have been trying to remake the film since 1982, but when it was decided to make the film in 3D, producers at Universal cancelled the film to not compete with Jaws 3D (1983). John Carpenter was next up to write the film but this also fell through. The list of problems the film has faced goes on and on, including the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
In 2012, Universal announced the remake for Creature from the Black Lagoon was in production. The new film will be called The Black Lagoon to distinguish it from the original. According to a story on The Tracking Board, Universal is trying to convince Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers) to star in the film. Jeff Pinker (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) has been hired to write the project.
Nosferatu (1922) is a silent German horror movie based on the legend of Dracula. However, Director F.W. Murnau did not have the rights from Bram Stoker’s widow to make Dracula into a movie, so he renamed all of the characters and made the film anyway. Dracula became Count Orlock (played by Max Schreck). It was remade in 1979 by Werner Herzog. Later, a film called Shadow of the Vampire (2000) was made, which fictionalized the events surrounding the making of Nosferatu. This included addressing the urban legend that Max Schreck (played in the film by Willem Dafoe) was really a vampire.
David Lee Fisher will be directing the remake of Nosferatu. He originally did a Kickstarter to fund a feature film “remix” of the film back in 2014, raising $67,551. It will have live-actions scenes with colorized digital backgrounds recreated from the original film. The Count will be played by Doug Jones, who played Abe Sapien in the Hellboy films, the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007). There’s really no actor alive who could better embody the Nosferatu than the versatile Jones.
5. Pet Sematary
Based on Stephen King’s 1983 horror novel of the same name, Pet Sematary (1989) follows Louis Creed, who, after getting a promotion as the director of the University of Maine’s campus health service, moves his wife and their two children to a small town nearby. Several tragedies befall the family and due to their proximity to an ancient burial ground that is rumored to have the power to bring the dead back to life. Pet Sematary II (1992) continued the legend of the cemetery.
The remake of Pet Sematary is being produced for Paramount by Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Mark Varhadian. Jeff Buhler, who is also remaking The Grudge, wrote the script for the upcoming remake of Pet Sematary. In an interview with Dread Central, Buhler comments, “This is pretty far from the 1980’s film… With this one, we really wanted to get into the emotional aspects of it. There’s still plenty of visceral horror that’s explored, but I’ve always felt that if you lean more into the characters and into their emotional lives, when the visceral shit hits the fan, it’s ten times more scary.”
4. Jacob’s Ladder
Bruce Joel Rubin’s Jacob’s Ladder (1990) follows haunted Vietnam War veteran Jacob Singer (played by Tim Robbins) after the death of his child. He suffers dissociation and must piece together his past, figuring out what is real and what is part of his delusions before his time during the war. The term “Jacob’s Ladder” refers to the connection between earth and heaven. The film is a big inspiration for the video games and movies related to Silent Hill.
The remake will be directed by David M. Rosenthal (The Perfect Guy). Jeff Buhler returns again, rewriting not only Pet Sematary and The Grudge, but also Jacob’s Ladder. In another interview with Dread Central, he says the following about his screenplay of the film: “This version of Jacob’s Ladder will have a more contemporary and diverse look at the world of military families. My version of Jacob’s Ladder is all about the ‘coming home’ process as opposed to these guys in the field still having battles in their minds, so it’s much more personal and emotional.”
Buhler wrote the script with Jake Wade Wall, writer of When a Stranger Calls (2006) and The Hitcher (2007). The cast includes Michael Ealy (Barbershop, Underworld: Awakening), Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy, The Cabin in the Woods), and Nicole Beharie (Shame, Sleepy Hollow).
Suspiria (1977) is an Italian film directed and co-written by Dario Argento. Suzy (played by Jessica Harper) travels to Germany for ballet school. But people in the school keep dying. Suzy often hears noises and begins to feel sick. She must discover the horrible secret the school is hiding before succumbing to a deadly fate. Suspiria is the first in a trilogy of Argento’s supernatural horror film sagas known as “The Three Mothers.” It was followed-up by Inferno (1990) and The Mother of Tears (2007).
The remake will be directed by Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, Melissa P.). In an interview with him on Empire, Guadagnino shared his love for the film and talked about how his version will be “very different. The movie by Dario Argento was maybe a child of its own times. It’s very delicate; almost childish. I have a very strong interest in German literature and film, so I think [my] Suspiria will have to focus very strongly on that moment in history, in 1977, when Germany was divided and a new generation was claiming and asking to recognize the debt of guilt that forged the new Germany after the war.”
The new Suspiria screenwriter is Christof Gebert. He is known for his work in the sound department on Pineapple Express (2008) and Adventureland (2009). Members of the cast so far include Dakota Johnson (50 Shades of Grey, Black Mass) and Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Chronicles of Narnia). The Suspiria remake is scheduled for a 2017 release.
2. Day of the Dead
The third film in writer/director George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead film series, Day of the Dead (1985) is about a group of military soldiers and scientists trapped in an underground bunker surrounded by zombies. There was a prequel/sequel, Day of the Dead 2: Contagium (2005) and it was loosely remade in 2008.
The second remake for the film was announced by producers Lati Grobman and Christa Campbell. They produced the Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013). A new director was announced for the film, Hèctor Hernández Vicens (The Corpse of Anna Fritz). The film is about a group of survivalists seeking shelter from zombies. Actors in the film include Sophie Skelton (one episode of Outlander) playing Zoe Parker, Marcus Vanco (The Shannara Chronicles) as Baca Salazar, Jeff Glum (one episode of New Girl) as Miguel Salazar, and Johnathon Schaech (Prom Night and Jonah Hex in Legends of Tomorrow) as Max.
1. The Mummy
A loose remake of a 1932 film of the same name starring Boris Karloff, The Mummy (1999) is an action-adventure horror film (considered by some as a fantasy film rather than a horror film). A Cairo librarian, Evelyn Carnahan (played by Rachel Weisz), along with her brother Johnathan (played by John Hannah) and American Adventurer Rick O’Connell (played by Brendan Fraser), search treasure. Instead, they find the Book of the Dead and Evelyn makes the mistake of reading from it, awakening the high priest Imhotep (played by Arnold Vosloo). There were two sequels, The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008).
In the new remake of The Mummy, it is an ancient queen who is awakened and plans on terrorizing mankind. The film is directed by Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange). It will be part of Universal’s Monster Cinematic Universe. Actors include Tom Cruise (Jack Reacher, Mission Impossible) as Tyler Holt, Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle) as Jenny Halsey, Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator) as Dr. Henry Jekyll and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Star Trek Beyond) as The Mummy. The film is scheduled for 2017.
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