Matt Reeves earned a healthy number of accolades for his remake, Let Me In, but the vampire story didn't fare all that well at the box office. Reeves will nonetheless revisit that particular brand of supernatural genre territory with his new directorial effort, The Passage, an adaptation of the New York Times best-selling novel by Justin Cronin.
While the Cloverfield director recently signed up to write and direct an adaptation of the short story that inspired They Live as well, it's more likely he'll helm The Passage first - largely because there's already a complete draft of the script, as written by John Logan (who's now working on the screenplay for James Bond 23).
Deadline confirmed this news about Reeves becoming set to helm The Passage, which the site also describes as being "closer to '28 Days Later' and 'The Stand' than 'Let The Right On In' or 'Twilight Saga'" in terms of tone and atmosphere. It'll also be one of several upcoming flicks that looks to feature a (thankfully) more traditional version of the vampire creature, along with titles like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Fright Night.
Here is an official description of Cronin's original novel:
An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, 'The Passage' is the story of Amy–abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl—and risks everything to save her.
As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.
Financially speaking, Let Me In was pretty much a swing-and-a-miss, grossing only $24 million in theaters worldwide. It was still overall a pretty good vampire movie that demonstrated how adept Reeves can be at mixing more personal drama with unsettling horror monster violence. That's not usually an easy trick to pull off, and it's one that the director will have to pull off again - to some degree - with The Passage as well.
Much like 28 Days Later used science-fiction (specifically, a virus) to account for the existence of "zombie monsters," the aforementioned "government experiment" in The Passage provides an explanation for the existence of deadly vampiric creatures in the story. The similarities between those two works don't end there, which makes me all the more interested to see how Reeves' new vampire pic plays out.
The Passage doesn't have "blockbuster" written all over it, but it could fare better at the box office than Let Me In did - if only because it isn't a remake of a much-beloved film (Let the Right One In) that only appealed to a limited audience in the first place. So take that for what it's worth.
We'll keep you posted on the status of The Passage as more information is released.