Hot off the heels of The Twilight Saga: New Moon - which takes a vampire love story and adds a helping of werewolves - making an absolute killing at the box office this past weekend, out comes news that The Howling franchise is getting a reboot/remake. Yes, yet again Hollywood is turning their focus to an established entity and giving it do-over. Big surprise there...
The original Howling from 1981 was directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins) and written by John Sayles from a book by Gary Brandner. It was about a news anchor who is stalked by a serial killer who turns out to be a werewolf (naturally...). It's not generally considered one of the best horror films of all time (6.5 rating on IMDB), but its film with a loyal cult following. It ended up spawning six sequels (didn't just about every horror franchise from the 80s?), including one subtitled "Your Sister Is a Werewolf" and another "The Freaks."
Variety is reporting that the reboot is to be titled The Howling: Reborn, and is being set up by indie producers Joel Katselberg and Moonstone Entertainment's Etchie Stroh. It will mark the feature film directing debut of Joe Nimziki - who was once a studio marketing exec over at New Line, MGM and Sony - who will direct from his own original script. Producers of the original Howling, Steve Lane and Bob Pringle, will come back to serve as exec producers for the reboot.
The Howling: Reborn will not only follow the staggeringly successful New Moon, but will also follow in the footsteps of the much-troubled new version of The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt. I bet the people behind this new Howling are hoping that Wolfman's extremely troubled production was just a case of bad luck and not that werewolves are a curse of any kind :P ...
The story for the reboot is being kept under wraps for the time being, although I don't imagine it will stray that far from the stalking storyline of the original. However having said that, if they're selling the film on the fact that it's about a werewolf - and why wouldn't they? - then the surprise (the stalker being a werewolf) is already ruined. Perhaps they'll strip away that particular twist.
I have a shred of hope for this remake due to the fact that it's a couple of indie producers that have started it up, as opposed to a big Hollywood studio taking it and remaking it just for the sake of capitalizing on the idea and the current success of werewolf flicks. I'm not saying that will make The Howling: Reborn turn out any better or worse in terms of quality, but it's a good sign, IMHO.
What do you think of them rebooting the long-running Howling franchise? Have you seen the original and any of its sequels? Does it deserve a do-over?
Shooting on The Howling: Reborn is supposed to start next February and a Halloween, 2010 release date is being eyed.
Sources: Variety (thanks to Cinemablend)