Andrew Fleming’s cult classic The Craft was one of those films that arrived at the right time and with the right tone. The mid-1990s were rife with alternative looks, as grunge and goth both hit the mainstream. As a result, the 1996 film found itself a minor box office success, taking in a respective $55 million on a rather small budget of $15 million.
Today, there’s nothing Hollywood enjoys more than taking a minor but still popular hit like The Craft, finding a hot young director, and remaking/rebooting the heck out of it. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when, last year, Sony announced they were remaking the occult teen thriller. And while remakes tend to ear the ire of die-hard fans, apparently this version of the witch-sploitation film won’t forget all of its roots.
Talking with Hitfix, The Craft remake producer Douglas Wick, who also produced the original, says the upcoming film will be more like an update, taking place “twenty years later.” Although the cast of the film will be different, the young women in the follow-up will have some connections to the original film. Wick says:
“There will be callbacks to the original movie, so you will see there is a connection between what happened in the days of The Craft, and how these young women come across this magic many years later.”
Wick also delved into the direction remake director Leigh Janiak (Honeymoon) and co-writer Phil Graziedi will bring to the update:
"Here are some young women who once again discover the power of magic, and we explore their emotional lives, their wants, their fears, their longings, as they become empowered. So you know, the same way you use a war movie to explore the psyche of men, you get to create a heightened world to explore the psyche of these women. And so that seemed like an opportunity that was ripe and a way to make a movie that would be very much about now. And of course, part of that was just finding a talent that felt like enough of a real talent that you'd really be interested in her interpretation of this kind of story now, and of course Leigh is exactly that."
Andrew Fleming, director of the original film, and star Rachel True (who played Rochelle in the 1996 film) also gave their two cents about revisit to The Craft. While Fleming is on board with the idea, True wasn’t one-hundred percent sold on the concept. She expressed her apprehensions:
“I'm kind of over remakes in general, but I also want to be supportive. If they think it's a good idea, Sony, to remake it, then they should, and it'll probably be awesome. But I just feel like, why not do another witch movie? Like, I'd love to see what the girls are up to now that they're women, because I think that women are super powerful as well. They're in -- we're in our sexuality. We own it, as opposed to girls who are a little shy about it. So I would love to see what the same group of women are up to now.”
Of course the possibility of reassembling the original cast is something True says “will never happen.” And True’s reservations echo those of many film fanatics: Why?
Hollywood has issued reboot after reboot, tackling old favorites like Ghostbusters and cult classics like Puppet Masters. Admittedly, the industry's remake-friendly status is far from a modern affliction. Hollywood has always sought to capture the wistfulness of another era by reconstituting old films ('50s nostalgia in the '80s version of The Blob, for instance). And, when properly done, pictures like John Carpenter’s The Thing actually can make poignant statements about both time periods, even surpassing their source material. But a lot of remakes wind up as watered-down rehashes, thrilling neither fans nor general audiences (see Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s prequel/remake The Thing, for one).
In this case, it sounds as though The Craft reboot will be a soft one, making some reference the players and/or events from the previous film. And the production is smart to connect the two films, since hard reboots like Ghostbusters often face criticism for ignoring franchise history. With Wick working on the project, it would be fun if he could talk a few former cast members to popping their heads in for a where-are-they-now cameo. It's improbable, but you never know; even Dan Ackroyd ain't afraid of no bit part.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information on The Craft remake/sequel as it becomes available.