Friday, December 4, 2009

Director Chaos: 'Harvey' and 'The Birds' Remakes

Two upcoming remakes are currently in a state of turmoil when it comes to not only being a remake, but also hiring a director.

A remake of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" was supposed to star Naomi Watts and be directed by Martin Campbell.

Last we heard on this project was from producers Brian Fuller and Andrew Form, who said that a specific problem with remaking "The Birds," is that the idea of birds attacking may have worked in the ’60s, but all birds do is, “peck and poke,” and that, “there’s not a lot of variety as to what can happen.” So the project sounded dead.

But according to Pajiba, it's alive and well. They're saying that Martin Campbell is now off the film because he took on a bigger project known as "Green Lantern." But since Universal still wants this to get made, they quickly found a replacement - Greek director Dennis Iliadis, who directed "The Last House on the Left" remake from last year. Pajiba is also guessing that without Campbell, Watts is no longer involved either.

Pajiba says Iliadis will make the $60 million project into an R-rated horror flick rather than the PG-13 family-friendly feature envisioned by Campbell.

Usually I would be all for a movie going the R-rated route, as it means things could be edgier and the director doesn’t have to worry about what he wants to put in there for fear of it getting cut. However, in this case, I would rather they go the PG-13 route.

Hitchcock’s original "Birds" wasn’t about blood and gore but more about the suspense in what’s going to happen next. The reasoning for making it bloody probably has something to do with the fact that they can’t figure out how to make birds scary. And so, the filmmakers are falling back on the harder-edged, bloodier style that will allow them to blend in seamlessly with every other pointless horror remake of the past decade.
Another remake in the works is "Harvey," which was going to be directed by Steve Spielberg.

However, news comes from Variety that even though we’ll still likely see a "Harvey" remake, it won’t be with Spielberg at the helm.

After Tom Hanks turned down the lead role, Spielberg had his eyes on Robert Downey, Jr. After meeting with Spielberg, there wasn't an immediate commitment as Downey and Spielberg never quite got on the same creative footing.

Spielberg decided to leave the film all together in the end.

This is certainly a disappointment for Fox, which already had been identifying sound-stages for a shooting start date of early 2010 for "Harvey." Fox is going to continue to develop the movie, and could re-approach both Spielberg and Downey Jr. at some point for further negotiations.

Personally, I can't say that I'm disappointed. I'd rather see Spielberg move on as there's already too many remakes out there for one of Hollywood's best directors to be throwing another one into the mix. Whatever he decides to do next, though, I hope he gets on it soon because it's been a year and a half since we saw "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and Spielberg needs a strong return to proper form.

What do you think about the remakes of "The Birds" and "Harvey"? Do we even really need them?

More news to come! Catch ya' later!
Sources: Screen Rant (1,2), First Showing (1,2), The Geek Files

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