Gremlins director Joe Dante will executive produce Teddy Bears Are For Lovers, a horror-comedy based on the award-winning short film of the same name. LOST cinematographer Michael Bonvillain will make his directorial debut on the feature film from Endless Media. David Ernesto Vendrell wrote the script based on a story by Vendrell, Matthew Hawksworth and Almog Avidan Antonir.
The original short film, Teddy Bears Are For Lovers, follows college student Collin and his girlfriend, Sarah, as they are attacked by killer teddy bears. As we learn, the teddy bears were all gifts from Collin to his many former girlfriends. The feature film version will expand on this, having Collin try to break the curse by making amends with his exes. In true horror movie fashion, he only has until the sun goes down to do so.
Deadline reports that Endless Media has enlisted movie legend Joe Dante to executive produce the feature film of Teddy Bears Are For Lovers. The Gremlins and Innerspace director describes the new project as an "offbeat comedy-horror project that has some affinities with Gremlins." In addition, the movie seeks to hire Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop to build their murderous teddy bears. Weta recently went to work on James Cameron's four Avatar sequels, but perhaps they can squeeze in the teddy bear movie on their schedule.
Cloverfield and Lost cinematographer Michael Bonvillain takes on the task of directing Teddy Bears Are For Lovers, which will mark his first feature film job as a director. Bonvillain's résumé as a DP also includes Zombieland, American Ultra, and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
Dante, on the other hand, lends decades of experience as a creator of off-beat genre films to the project. Like so many filmmakers who came of age in the '70s and '80s, Dante got his start with Roger Corman. After helming low-budget movies like Piranha and the horror classic The Howling, Dante made the leap to big studio filmmaking. His off-beat, satiric vision melded perfectly with the classic monster movie plot of Gremlins, resulting in one of the most beloved films of the '80s. Dante would revisit that success with 1990's Gremlins 2: The New Batch, a rare sequel that nearly matches the original. And his 1987 sci-fi film, Innerspace, starring Dennis Quaid as a miniaturized explorer injected into Martin Short, remains an engaging big-budget curiosity. Plus, Dante's 1989 film The 'Burbs, starring Tom Hanks as a bored suburbanite obsessed with his weird neighbors, is a subversive cult favorite.
Despite his great success, Dante's specific sensibilities prevented him from developing a career with staying power. Unlike his contemporary Steven Spielberg, he simply could not adapt himself to a wide range of material. As a result, his career petered out, and he's mostly directed television in recent years. But perhaps the director is in for a career resurgence with Teddy Bears Are For Lovers.