The Craft reboot has taken a major step forward and recruited a female director. The fantasy-horror film about teenage wannabe witches who get more than they bargained for when they begin meddling with forces they don’t fully comprehend has enjoyed cult-hit status since its release in 1996.
With a cast that utilized some notable actresses of the time, including then Party of Five star Neve Campbell as well as Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney and Rachel True, The Craft joined other short lived and somewhat ahead of its time efforts to put all female ensembles into roles that traditionally would have been taken up by men. Other films to attempt this were 1991’s Thelma and Louise, which took on the typically male, buddy road movie trope, as well as 1994’s Drew Barrymore-led western Bad Girls. The Craft’s concept of a teen girl arriving at a new school and falling in with a group of outcasts was much more relatable to teens, however, and with the current push in Hollywood to create more diverse content, The Craft is a film that seems in need of being rebooted for a new generation.
We’ve known that a reboot of The Craft has been on its way for several years now, with numerous rumors flying only to later be disregarded. The latest information on the project comes to us courtesy of Deadline, and is perhaps the most encouraging news to date. Columbia Pictures and Blumhouse have just signed Zoe Lister-Jones to write and direct the reboot, with the project seemingly experiencing a fresh start despite a script having previously been re-written by 10 Cloverfield Lane co-writer Daniel Casey back in 2017.
At present it’s not known whether Lister-Jones will use any of Casey’s existing script for The Craft, or if her take on the reboot will be completely her own. Lister-Jones isn’t widely known in Hollywood for her filmmaking, though her acting resume is somewhat extensive, with roles on New Girl and Life in Pieces. Her 2017 feature debut saw her write, direct and star in Band-Aid, a creative take on a dysfunctional relationship set to music. The film received a relatively warm critical reception upon its release, and even landed Lister-Jones a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance. Blumhouse and Columbia appear to have made a solid choice in signing her on for The Craft reboot, as her career seems to be building no small degree of momentum.
As things now look to really be getting going with The Craft reboot, it’s nice to see that the project has been put in the hands of someone new. This isn’t to say that those previously attached to the film weren’t suitable, but as films have become more costly over the years, studios seem less inclined to take risks the way they once did. This is too bad, as some of the biggest success stories to come out of Hollywood have been the result of taking a chance on someone new, doing something different. The Craft might be a reboot, but somehow Lister-Jones has already managed to make it feel fresh and new.