The Creature from the Black Lagoon Remake Has Legs
Refreshingly, the latest news in the world of remakes isn't coming from the '80s. Instead, we get word of some needed wind in the sails of the long-discussed update of the 1954 classic, The Creature from the Black Lagoon. The project has floated around for more than 10 years now and passed through the hands of such greats at Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. STYD brings us news that not only is the project on a solid path towards release next year, but good headway has already been made on the production.
"The Creature has been designed, we've spent six months designing him," director Breck Eisner told STYD. An Amazonian location has also already been chosen. too. "There's this place called the Forest of Mirrors, because there are so many lagoons on a thousand mile green carpet river, and we found the lagoon we're going to shoot in." Joining Eisner is Gary Ross as the screenwriter, who is son to one of the original authors, Arthur Ross.
This is all seemingly great news for the project, but I wonder what the end result will be. Aside from the whole inescapable dodginess associated with remakes, you have to admit that it's not an easy challenge to scare audiences nowadays, especially with a landscape that has been traversed many times since the '50s. Everything from Anaconda to Primeval has tried its hand at the doomed-jungle-creature-expedition with very mixed results. This is only to say that we're a bit familiar with the material from the start, so it feels like Ross and Eisner have some work ahead of them to avoid getting caught in the same mundaneness created by those others.
Eisner's comments go a long way toward assuaging these concerns, however. "It will deliver action and excitement, but I want it to be scary. The Creature was scary when it first came out in '54 - it's not scary today - but that's what updating means to me, updating the tone of the original. We went top shelf on it. It's very faithful to the original, but updated." Eisner has also said of the project, "We see it as an aggressive sci-fi horror film in the vein an Alien or like John Carpenter's The Thing. We want to elevate the source material."
As for casting, there's little news in that regard so far. Apparently there's rumor that Bill Paxton has been cast as the lead, but I question whether that's true. Paxton seems pretty comfortable in his Mormon shoes (HBO's "Big Love") and hasn't exactly been seen in anything dark/action-like in some time. Brian Steele is supposedly taking on the Gillman. Now that is one creaturific dude. Steele has been in a number of genre-appropriate projects, playing characters in Underworld, Resident Evil and the upcoming Hellboy II.
So is this finally a remake we can get excited about?