Another remake of a sci-fi classic is reportedly being prepped by Warner Bros. The studio is progressing a new treatment for Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which is currently being penned by the screenwriter of The Conjuring 2 with a view of updating the themes to fit in with today's social climate.
The original story comes from a 1955 science fiction novel by American writer Jack Finney, called simply The Body Snatchers. The now-familiar concept saw a small town in California being invaded by extraterrestrial seeds from space that replace sleeping people with perfect duplicates grown from pods. However most people know the story from the classic 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which was directed by Don Siegel. An updated remake with the same title was directed by Philip Kaufman in 1978 and was just as successful as its predecessor on a critical and commercial level. There was also another remake made by Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) in 1993 and called simply Body Snatchers, which was a commercial flop but has gone on to achieve something of a cult status. Yet another re-imagining occurred in 2007 with The Invasion, which starred Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.
Now Deadline reports that another remake of the story is in development with Warner Bros. and the prolific producer John Davis (The Predator). This brand new version of the sci-fi horror is currently being scripted by David Leslie Johnson, who is best known for his work on The Conjuring 2 and is also responsible for the upcoming The Conjuring 3. Johnson has also written the screenplays for Orphan, Wrath of the Titans, as well as several episodes of The Walking Dead. As the production is in the very early stages of development, there is no news yet as to an intended director, cast, or release date.
While it might seem like we're in an epidemic of remakes and reboots, particularly where genre films are concerned, The Body Snatchers is a story that does lend itself to regular revisions and updates. The 1956 film contained themes of communist scares at the time, and the 1978 version satirised the culture of the '70s and social isolation in the cities. Ferrara's movie was allegedly meant to represent the loss of identity in military life, and the most recent remake turned the concept upside down by making the threat a virus as opposed to seed pods. Each film also has its highlights, from the downbeat ending with Donald Sutherland in the '70s version (ranked one of the most chilling ever), to Meg Tilly's masterful "Where you gonna go?" speech in Body Snatchers.
It could be that the time is right for a new film, and that the current political and social climate could give inspiration to a fresh interpretation. Johnson has shown that he can write character-driven horror with The Conjuring 2 and Orphan, and if the right decisions are made with the cast and crew, then we could see the pod-people back amongst us again fairly soon. We'll bring you more updates about the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake as we get them.