The last time we reported on the completely unnecessary remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic The Birds, it looked to be dead on the ground, at least for the time being. Sadly, however, it appears the remake is still on its way, and it may have found a new director.
Casino Royale director, Martin Campbell, had been attached up until this point to direct The Birds. However, a little project called Green Lantern came along, and evidently The Birds got brushed to the side and almost forgot about. According to Pajiba, their inside source in The Hollywood Cog says that Campbell is no longer helming the $60 million project, which is set up at Michael Bay's horror remake-prone production company, Platinum Dunes (the studio responsible for the remakes of A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, amongst others).
However, a project like The Birds isn't just going to disappear because a director walks away from it, the studio just needs to find another director. And it looks like they have, this time taking a step down from Campbell to Greek director, Dennis Iliadis, who brought us (you guessed it) a horror remake in the form of The Last House on the Left, which came out this year.
So how might this affect what we see on the big-screen with The Birds remake? Well, word is that Campbell originally had a PG-13 version in mind, and that was where the script was being developed to shoot (it's been re-written as many as three times already). However, if you saw The Last House on the Left, you know Iliadis doesn't play in the PG-13 sandbox, and it appears that he wants The Birds to go R-rated, which means blood and gore galore, no doubt.
Now, usually I would be all for a movie going the R-rated route, as it means things could be edgier and the director doesn't have to worry about what he wants to put in there for fear of it getting cut. However, in this case, I would rather they go the PG-13 route. Why? Well, if you've seen Hitchcock's original Birds you'll know it wasn't about blood and gore but more about the suspense in what's going to happen next - are these birds going to attack and if so, when? That and a whole lot more made The Bird's the special movie that it is, and adding in all this R-rated bloody nonsense is just a flat-out bad idea, IMHO.
Alfred Hitchcock and his Birds
The reasoning for this probably has something to do with the fact that they can't figure out how to make birds scary (a problem the producers spoke about a few months ago), at least not in the way that the late-great Hitchcock did (could anyone accomplish that other than Hitchcock?). And so, the filmmakers are falling back on the harder-edged, bloodier style that will allow them to blend in seamlessly with every other pointless and forgettable horror remake of the past decade (want me to list them?...).
Just as a quick note: Naomi Watts was originally tipped to star in the lead role, but Pajiba speculates that if Campbell's gone, she will no longer be attached either. We'll keep you posted on whether or not that's the case.
What do you think of The Birds remake apparently getting a new director? Is Iliadis the right guy to direct it? Are you happy they now seem to be taking it the R-rated route as opposed to the originally planned PG-13?