A remake of the 1973 horror film Don't Be Afraid of the Dark has been in the early development stages for awhile now, but today we get fresh news that Guy Pearce is in "final negotiations" to star alongside Bailee Madison (Bridge to Tarabithia) and the already cast Katie Holmes in the Miramax remake.
The original made-for-TV Don't Be Afraid of the Dark became a cult hit: It tells the story of a young girl who is sent to stay with her father and his girlfriend only to find out the house is inhabited by demonic creatures. Pearce is in negotiations to play the father and author who is frustrated with his daughter telling tales of the creatures, with Madison set to play his daughter. Holmes will play Pearce's girlfriend who starts to believe the daughter about the creatures, but fails in convincing the father.
The Afraid of the Dark remake will be co-produced by busy-man-of-the-minute Guillermo del Toro along with Mark Johnson, with del Toro having co-wrote the script with Matthew Robins (who he wrote Mimic with). It's another one of those projects I don't know how del Toro found the time to even work on never mind actually complete. Del Toro's protege, Troy Nixey, will make his feature film directorial debut with the horror-thriller remake.
I am quite surprised that Pearce has taken on Afraid of the Dark as a project. He's not one of those actors who takes every role left, right and center - he is usually quite picky with his roles which leads me to ask why has he chosen this particular horror remake to star in? Was it del Toro's involvement? The character he'll be playing? Or simply the money? Whatever the reason, I look forward to seeing him star in the film, as I am with any role he takes on.
When the news first broke last year about the Don't Be Afraid of the Dark remake, Variety reported that we should expect an, "up-scale creature feature along the lines of del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, with an emphasis on distinctive characters." That was almost a year ago, but since the script has now been completed and they probably have a good idea how the creatures will look and so forth, I really hope del Toro and Robins have kept that spirit originally described by Variety. The idea seems like a pretty basic one but it should allow a lot of room for del Toro and co. to (hopefully) put their unique stamp on it.
Have you seen the original 1973 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark? If so, is it suited for a remake and is del Toro a good fit to write/produce it?
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is set to start production sometime in July this year in Melbourne, Australia.
Source: THR, FirstShowing and Variety