Scanners Remake Being Directed by Horror Master Darren Lynn Bousman

February 28, 2007

David Cronenberg's ScannersThe ever-so-popular Saw II and Saw III director Darren Lynn Bousman has signed on for yet another film after Saw III made an enormous $80 million at the box office (a $70 million profit). This time it's under Bob Weinstein and Dimension Films instead of Lionsgate, with which he was signed for two films, the second of which is not yet revealed. Don't knock this remake yet, every aspect of it seems perfect, from the producers, the screenwriter, and director - it could be good!

The news from Variety states that the rights were bought for a remake of David Cronenberg's 1981 sci-fi horror movie Scanners recently and Bousman was chosen to direct for a late 2008 release. A few more details about the project were discussed, including a familiar screenwriter who will be writing the remake, and Bousman's busy schedule throughout the rest of this year.

For those that don't know, the film is about a scientist who infiltrates an underground movement of "scanners," whose telepathic abilities make them lethal weapons. The remake is being written by David Goyer, who's done some great writing previously including the screenplay for Dark City and Batman Begins. He was considered to direct The Flash, but instead was taken off the project in favor of a different director.

Darren Bousman has become increasingly popular in the horror scene, not only taking on this project for 2008, but also working on Saw IV and his own personal project Repo! The Genetic Opera!, a horror musical. Saw IV begins production on April 15th, and then Bousman will move straight into Repo!, then follow up with Scanners in early 2008, which will have the script completed by then. Looks like some exciting times ahead for Bousman!

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Hmm, sounds interesting. I am not really into horror movies but it seems like it's a dead genre in the sense that most of the horror movies coming out are just remakes or recycled/familiar story lines. Only a very few seem to be original or interesting. I also realize though that they're cheap to produce and they generally make somewhat of a profit. People just seem to eat them up. So we can probably look forward to many more recycled horror films for years to come.

Zach on Feb 28, 2007


Alex, my God ... please tell me you're being sarcastic. PLEASE. This sounds like a complete fucking joke. Bousman as a horror GENIUS?? "Saw 2 and 3" were total shit horror films. You need to start watching some real movies from a period of time prior to 1992.

Ray on Feb 28, 2007


Ray... This time, I'm going to disagree. I'm sorry you think Saw 2 and 3 were total shit, but I actually think they were incredible. Those films got me into horror to begin with, I used to hate the genre with a passion, and then from there I expanded. Argue all you want, but I have a subjective opinion first, and secondly, the box office numbers back me up. Sure not everyone loved them, but stemming from Saw 1, they're very well made (disagree all you want) and have become a succesful staple franchise in the horror genre. I don't see why there's a requirement to see movies "prior to 1992" to understand cinema or, for that matter, know what a "real" movie is. That's a ridiculous statement! Sure some are classic, and some are good, but that does NOT mean that just because it's old it's good. Especially when in my own opinion, the entire Saw series was fantastic... I'm sorry you disagree, but everyone has an opinion, and obviously yours isnt in the same line this time.

Alex Billington on Feb 28, 2007


@ Alex: Okay, I am not going to argue with you about the "Saw" sequels, because if you cannot see the difference between "horror" and "gross," then the discussion is pointless. Falling into a needle pit or pulling hooks out of your body is gross - NOT SCARY. It causes an instinctual reaction of disgust, but not FEAR. There is a difference. The "Saw" sequels are gross, not scary. The first one had some scares in it. I never said that old movies are instantly good. THAT is a ridiculous statement. But it is clear from your "Twelve Movies Ahead of Their Time" list that you might benefit from seeing more movies ,ade prior to 1992. You cannot tell me that, after watching "Psycho" or "Halloween" or "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "Evil Dead" or "Nosferatu" or "The Exorcist" or "The Haunting" - or hell, even "Poltergeist" - that the "Saw" sequels are good HORROR films. In comparison, they barely register next to the brilliance and scares found in those older works. And Bousman's direction cannot even be mentioned in the same breath as those masters of horror. And yet you called Bousman a "master of horror." Again, I implore you to see some older films that demonstrate true technique of the genre.

Ray on Feb 28, 2007


Fine, it sounds like the Saw series needs its own new genre - gross out - which is perfectly legitimate. If anything, that's incredible that a series has started its own new genre. Because to you the definition of horror is different - you want to be scared. In this day and age it's less about scare and more about how you can gross out the audience. And they have to lump those movies into somewhere, and they put them into horror. I've met Bousman anyway, and I think he is a very talented director. Some of the shots and work he did in that movie are great. Maybe if you compare Saw 3 to say The Excorcist, referred to as the greatest horror movie ever, then of course the result is going to be brutal. But that's not the point. You can't just compare, compare, compare all day long. You have to go into them objectively and look at it by itself, which it is a well made, well directed movie, despite you don't think it "scares" you like the classic horror films mentioned. The ahead of their time article is a whole different thing in itself. First, the choiecs were visually and technically ahead of their time, not anything else (give or take the 1 or 2 exceptions). And that means the list really started at the advent of CGI, which it did with Tron, 2001, Star Wars, and the absent Blade Runner. That also means it didn't include older movies purposefully, not that I haven't seen or didn't consider them. It was meant to create discussion and thought more than be the end-all say of my own opinion. Heck, I just wrote it for people to think about, not to say "this is Alex's thoughts" and end.

Alex Billington on Feb 28, 2007


Alex, my friend, two things: 1. First of all, I think you're biased toward Bousman because you've met the guy. It's fine, I support my friends as well. 2. As many, many comments pointed out on your list, technical achievements in movies DID NOT "start at the advent of CGI." Only someone who is around 20 years old - or someone who has seen very few movies - would ever say anything like that and mean it without being sarcastic. That is why I have suggested twice that you see some older movies, because the best true horror films were not made, for the most part, after 1992. And most of the great technical achievements in film occurred BEFORE 1992, not after. Comment after comment showed the great visual/technical achievements left entirely off of your list for the sake of the CGI Terminator from "Terminator 2" (which was not the first of anything, really ... just cool) and, um, "Office Space." Oh yeah, and "Starship Troopers." Yeah, "Wizard of Oz" or "CAbinet of Caligari" have nothing on "Starship Troopers...."

Ray on Feb 28, 2007


Sure, because when we interviewed him, I got a more intricate look at his directing techniques and I don't think he screwed up in any way. I like his movies so far. I don't think there is a problem with his directing. But yet again, you seem stuck in the "before 1992" idiom. You realize that list obviously goes further than the first ones on it, I CHOSE not to start it until the "advent of CGI" - everyone is just nitpicky and missed that point. I don't understand how you can't call something like Return of the King's CGI an achievement, which even by more than just myself, is counted as a massive technical achievement in computer graphics. Sure, you are obviously a stickler for movies that don't have CGI and "classic" cinema, but come on, movies are still advancing in plenty of ways after 1992, why can't you recognize that? And to fuel a bit more consideration, name the top 5 horror movies made AFTER 1992. There are hundreds, name the top 5, I want to hear what they are.

Alex Billington on Feb 28, 2007


Nice list Ray. I think that "The Shining" should be added as well. Though some may argue that it's not a horror film and more of a thriller.

Zach on Feb 28, 2007


Alex, first of all, in your "Top 12" list, you made no mention of concentrating on CGI only, and of course, Office Space fails that criterion anyway. So.... what kind of list is that exactly?? Is it one to purposely piss people off? LOL ... I never said that "Return of the King" did not have tremendous visuals or tremendous use of CGI ... but it does not belong on a list of the top 12 movies ahead of their time, not over pre-1992, pre-CGI landmarks like "Wizard of Oz" or "The Ten Commandments" or "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" or - here's the kicker - "Trip to the Moon." Anyway, best horror movies SINCE 1992 ... I'll do seven ... 7. The Sixth Sense - Not a traditional horror film, but one with great mood and some great scary sequences. The voice of the ghost in the upstairs closet gives me the willies. 6. 28 Days Later - Brooding, great use of imagery and shock cutting. Crappy ending, though 5. The Ring - Had some great imagery, and two really great sequences 4. Saw - the first one had effective scares, great look, and trend-setting hook 3. Malevolence - a low-budget horror film with some really scary imagery/horror sequences 2. The Descent - Brilliant claustrophobic scares. Great monsters. Great set up 1. The Blair Witch Project - pure genius in terms of subject matter, execution, and marketing.

Ray on Feb 28, 2007


Thanks Zach ... of course Alex doesn't like The Shining because it was made in 1980 and did not have any CGI effects LOL

Ray on Feb 28, 2007


Who said I didn't like The Shining? I'm amazed all of this spurred because of one adjective I put in front of someone's name......

Alex Billington on Feb 28, 2007


Ray, As a dedicated horror fan / writer on this site, I will agree with you that it is important to look at old films before being able to correctly analyze recent ones. I do not think it is fair however to say that horror has died after 1992. There have been some great films, like the ones you have mentioned. As for the topic at hand, Bousman directing a remake of the 1981 film Scanners, I think he is a perfect director for this type of horror film. While you don't agree that the SAW sequels are good horror films, I am wondering what you consider the original Scanners to be? You claim that there is nothing more in the Saw sequels than gore, like the needle pit and the chain thing. You also say that you didn't find those sequences to be scary. What do you think of the original Scanners movie? I would argue that the original Scanners is no more a horror movie than the Saw sequels, because of it's blood and gore sequences. I.E. exploding heads and such. If you don't think these sequences are scary, then why are you being concerned with a remake of a horror film that I believe participates in the exact type of scares that the Saw sequels have offered audiences. For the type of horror films that Bousman has made, I believe that he is a well-crafted filmmaker who cares a lot about the story and characters in the films he makes. While I don't think that Scanners needs to be remade, I am glad Bousman is going to be directing it.

FSJosh on Feb 28, 2007


@ FSJosh: You're absolutely right. "Scanners" is a shitty movie that should NOT be remade, no matter how much CGI they throw into it. Man, remakes are making me sick: I am concerned with two things: That remakes are all Hollywood makes anymore, and that Alex called Bousman a "horror master" when he absolutely is NOT such a thing. As I have mentioned, the articles Alex writes continue to confer "greatest ever" kinds of titles to undeserving and exclusively post-1992 candidates. Bousman is not a "horror master" - Hitchcock, yes. Carpenter, yes. Romero, sure. Murnau, yes. Browning, yes. NOT BOUSMAN. Hell, if there's anyone post-1992 that deserves the title of "horror master," then it's M. Night Shyamalan, not Bousman for chrissakes.

Ray on Feb 28, 2007


Oh, and Josh, I never said horror has died since 1992. I told Alex he needs to start watching more movies pre-1992 so that he will have a better grasp of concepts like who qualifies as a "master of horror," or what the Top 12 Movies (Technologically) Ahead of Their Time might actually be, instead of the top 11 science fiction films since 1992 and, mysteriously, "Office Space." LOL

Ray on Feb 28, 2007


Alex, I am fortuate to have a degree in film and film history. This often functions as a useful prop to back up my opinions but in truth it`s pretty much worthless next to an actual eclectic love of cinema which Ray seems to be in posession of. Your views come across as uninformed and naive, as an example you stated that if the Saw series was more gross out than horror then it had started its own genre. For all those who`ve seen any number of Troma films, 80s creature features, early Peter Jackson films, the increasingly popular Spanish `Faces of Death´ compilations and numerous `Cannibal Corpse´ `Driller Killer´ style video infinatum, it would no doubt come as a great suprise. You seem to be labouring under the false apprehension that things haven´t been done until they´ve been done by big budget Hollwood productions...Almost every Hollywood trend was taken from theatre precedents or foreign cinema. As for the death of horror...I think it still exists in these films to an extent but it does tend to be pushed to the sidelines. The Saw series doesn´t quite come up to the film `Hostel´in my opinion but to me that may simply be a matter of taste...The suspense built up in the Saw films tends to irritate me rather than excite me, unlike the more natural progression of events in Hostel which are not so preconceived and so leave room for uncertainty and fear. If you know the bad guy always wins you have lost your suspense.

Vore on Mar 1, 2007


Yikes ... this discussion continues to grow about that damn list, Alex ... sorry to fan the flames. We have decided to tackle your list on Wednesday's audio show. I will keep you informed.

Ray on Mar 2, 2007


hi I hate this film (SAW 3) and the same. I hinks who direct such films must be MAD. bye.

A. ziaie on Apr 6, 2007


Why are they remaking this b-grade movie from the 80s? Trust me hollywood this movie will fail miserably!

cluelesshwood on Apr 24, 2007


I didn't like any saw movies. They weren't badly directed, I just didn't like the story/writting/characters. Scanners Series however are classic, and I wouldn't mind seeing the writer of Dark City rewrite it with the Saw Director. Sounds like a good idea on paper.

WatchinUWatch on May 27, 2007

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