Right now it's a little unclear as to whether the Poltergeist reboot being produced by Sam Raimi is a remake of the original film or a sequel to it. The latter currently seems more likely, as recent plot and character details revealed that while a lot of the thematic elements and the basic plot are the same, the upcoming Poltergeist film will feature a different family and some brand new characters enlisted to help investigate the paranormal happenings.
For a while it seemed as though the reboot might have been carrying a curse of its own (admittedly, the same curse that thousands of movies before it have suffered without need of any supernatural interference), as production was delayed for several years, passing the original release date of November 2010 by some time and leaving the entire concept seemingly floating in the aether. It wasn't until Raimi signed on as producer that Poltergeist was properly boosted back into development.
If you were fearing (or even hoping) that the ground might still fall out from under Poltergeist's feet, then rest assured that the film is ready and raring to go, with money and a distribution deal behind it. MGM has signed a deal with its regular partner Fox 2000 Pictures to co-finance the film, and has already organized worldwide distribution.
Monster House director Gil Kenan was brought onboard to helm the reboot earlier this year, and he'll be working from a script written by David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz the Great and Powerful). The "new" story is about a man called Eric Bowen who moves his family to new town, hoping for a fresh start that goes horribly wrong when his daughter, Madeleine, is kidnapped under mysterious circumstances. Who knows what horrors they'll find lurking in the foundations this time?
Poltergeist will be marketed and distributed worldwide by Twentieth Century Fox, with the exception of international television distribution and theatrical distribution in certain international territories, which will be handled by MGM. All domestic TV distribution and home entertainment will be handled by Fox. A deal like this more or less guarantees Poltergeist safety from a return to development hell, and production is now securely scheduled to begin this fall.
Based on the last remake that Raimi produced, of his own original claim to cult fame The Evil Dead, do you have high hopes for Poltergeist, or do you think it should have been left to rest in peace?
Poltergeist is expected to release in late 2014/early 2015.