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An American werewolf goes back to London, this time with a number

August 4, 2010 |  4:44 pm

Werewolf
Before Taylor Lautner gave shirtless life to Jacob Black in "Twilight," before Michael J. Fox got all hairy and started taking jump shots in "Teen Wolf," David Naughton was getting lupine in London for John Landis.

The filmmaker's' "An American Werewolf in London" was a hit years ahead of the fashion for grafting the conventions of comedy and romance onto werewolf and vampire pictures; in fact, it some ways it gave rise to the practice.

Maybe it's this nostalgia that's prompting Dimension Films to develop a reboot of "An American Werewolf in London."  The Weinstein Co. division bought remake rights to the 1981 classic, which starred Naughton as a U.S. tourist who believes he's being hunted by a werewolf, from Landis in June 2009.

Now the company is in talks with a writer, Fernley Phillips, best known for scripting Jim Carrey's "The Number 23," to give it a modern spin, sources say.

You can imagine fans and executives sparking to the idea of a new "Werewolf." The name alone brings plenty of recognition, and the idea of combining a hugely popular monster genre with comedy has proved creatively fertile in recent years (see "Shaun of the Dead").

Of course, sending up werewolves might seem redundant, what with Lautner already providing plenty of unintentional comedy. And Phillips does raise a bit of a question, as "23" was seen as a rather straightforward suspense thriller (Carrey plays a man who believes a novel is written about him) and "Werewolf" brought the comedy in bushels.

But unlike some of its genre counterparts, Dimension isn't above slyly sending up some of the conventions of horror and monster movies, as it does in the "Scream" franchise. Landis' version riffed at least a little on the 1935 horror flick "Werewolf of London". And if nothing else, a new version will wash out the taste of "An American Werewolf in Paris," the Gallic (and galling) follow-up from 1997.

“Werewolf” isn’t the first '80s genre comedy getting the remake treatment. DreamWorks is remaking the vampire comedy "Fright Night,”  Paramount is developing a new "Teen Wolf" and Dimension itself is trying to stay in the game with a new "Scream" film from Wes Craven. Some people out there are thinking of a '"Beetlejuice" remake, aren't they ...

--Steven Zeitchik

http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: 'An American Werewolf in London' poster. Credit: Universal Pictures.

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Comments () | Archives (15)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Of all the possible remakes,Please do not remake this classic!!! The paris sequel was not as good as the fisrt but it was a good sequel and not a remake.Have some respect for for an untouchable classic!!!
If you're going to remake the best of the best then go ahead and remake Harvey,Gone With The Wind,Casablanca,It's a Wonderful Life and Cabaret!!! Leave well enough alone and for the love of all that is sacred come up with something new!! if you have to touch on an old idea atleast put a new spin on it!!! For example,Daybreakers was a new take on vampires!!! Please do not remake An American Werewolf in London!!!

Why do I get the feeling that we're only a few years away from a "Twilight" remake? Is Hollywood so bereft of original ideas, are studios so wedded to the idea of name recognition as a driving force in deciding which movies to make, and are current filmmakers so egotistical that they think they can improve on the originals?

No!!!!!!!!! Do not, repeat, do not remake this classic!

Dammit!
Enough with all this remake crap.
We all know how well the Wolfman remake turned out, right?

"starred Naughton as a U.S. tourist who believes he's being hunted by a werewolf"

Not so much.

I love the original.

But I'm always interested in a new spin on things. If it's good I'll see it if not it'll flop. Making a re-make doesnt detract from the original. It will probably introduce it to people who were to young to see it in the first place.

Re-make it but remember what made it so good in the first place! NO CGI !!!

DIE.

Can remakes of "Terror Train" and "Krull" be far behind? Although American Werewolf did give me the biggest scare in a theatre: in the scene where Naughton's character wakes up in a forest, something spooky happened, and a group of 12 year old girls behind me began screaming uncontrollably. The scene on screen was not that scary, so I thought there was a fire in the theatre and jumped up, only to see these girls cowering behind their popcorn!

If S.Z.'s garbling of the plot of the original reflects the intelligence of the coming remake, perhaps those of us with taste should demand an "American Werewolf in Afghanistan", making sure to add in the vacationing SATC gals...

"You can imagine fans and executives sparking to the idea of a new "Werewolf."

Are they? Are they really?

Oh goody! CGI werewolves and baby faced teenagers in London...I just can't wait.

WHY DO THEY INSIST ON RE-MAKING EVERY MOVIE I GREW UP WITH AND DESTROYING THEM?

NO FAN OF THE ORIGINAL IS GOING TO SEE A RE-MAKE OF IT.

IT CANNOT BE DONE. We like the ORIGINAL for a REASON.

STOP IT. Seriously.

I'm sorry Steven Zeitchik, but what delusional fantasy world do you live in to consider "an American werewolf in London" a comedy. Next time how about a little research before we publish something.

First off

A remake of American Werewolf in london is not a bad idea especially for fan boys like myself who would love to see "JOHN LANDIS" work on a remake of his own design to accomidate the newer generations. Seriously the guy who made "23", i forsee him taking the luster and uniquness of AWWIL and defacting all over it.

Secondly

American Werewolf in Paris was a dvd classic that can easily be purchased in any walmart bin for 4.99. GOD that was garbage, the movie was a bush enthralled mirage of bad cgi , horrible acting, and suicidel story play (for the viewer) in a nice asbestis wrapped package. They need to really save the series by doing a well to justice remake of the original john landis classic.

I BEG JOHN LANDIS

PLEASE REDO YOUR OLD MOVIE, CGI IS OKAY BUT DONT BEAT US TO DEATH WITH IT.

IF YOU MAKE A REMAKE PLEASE LET ME BE IN THE MOVIE I HAVE BEEN A EXTRA IN SOME MOVIES BEFORE...THANKS...


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