2015 is dead, and from its putrescent corpse now writhes the wriggly maggots of 2016. These grubs shall grow into mighty insectoid beasts that will soon dominate our lives as horror fanatics, so we might as well start preparing ourselves now.
The last week of 2015 was full of news and previews for films and TV shows that we’ll be seeing throughout the coming year, as well as the unexpected cancellation of an iconic horror movie franchise, and a dire warning that one of the greatest private memorabilia collections in the world is currently in danger. Fortunately, you can do something about that.
Read on for news about THE WALKING DEAD, FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S, DOCTOR STRANGE, GHOSTBUSTERS and more, and come back every Friday for all the horror news you can handle.
HALLOWEEN HAS BEEN CANCELLED
No, you don’t have to throw away your fake cobweb collection. The holiday is just fine and dandy, but the latest film in the long-running HALLOWEEN horror series has been scrapped, because Dimension Films has lost their rights to the franchise (via Bloody Disgusting).
The proposed sequel, HALLOWEEN RETURNS, was going to be the latest in a long line of selective sequels, which would have followed up on the classic original film(s) and ignored the many disappointing sequels that preceded it. (See also: JURASSIC WORLD, TERMINATOR GENISYS.) The film was set to be directed by Marcus Dunstan (THE COLLECTION), but now the rights to the franchise are up for grabs, and possibly heading back to previous HALLOWEEN producer Malek Akkad.
Either way, we would be very surprised if those rights will remain unattached for long. HALLOWEEN is one of the most instantly recognizable horror series in history; heck, the only thing that surprises us about this is the fact that Dimension let the rights slip away in the first place. Who DOES that?
THE WALKING DEAD MID-SEASON PREMIERE TRAILER… PREMIERES!
The smash hit television series THE WALKING DEAD – based on the acclaimed comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard – returns to television on February 14, 2016. So you’ll be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with shambling corpses and moral compromise, just like the rest of us have for many, many years.
This week, AMC debuted the trailer for the mid-season premiere, which teases what’s to come after our survivors snuck out of through a zombie horde, disguising their scent in gore. Take a quick look at what’s to come by watching the video now!
HELP MAKE FORREST J. ACKERMAN’S HOUSE A MONUMENT
One of the most influential people in the history of horror and sci-fi, Forrest J. Ackerman was a magazine editor, a writer and a literary agent who represented Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and L. Ron Hubbard. He founded the influential magazine FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, corresponded with genre filmmakers and scribes, and helped shape what we now know as fandom.
Ackerman passed away in 2008, at the age of 92, leaving behind a treasure trove of priceless memorabilia at his Los Angeles home. Today that home currently operates as a private museum, which you can visit for free, but the site is currently being threatened with demolition.
A new petition at change.org (https://www.change.org/p/los-angeles-cultural-heritage-commission-declare-forrest-ackerman-s-house-a-historic-monument) is currently collecting signatures to help turn “Uncle Forry’s” home into a historical monument, protecting it from demolition and further development. As of this writing it’s very close to having the number of signatures needed. Head on over to show your support!
ALIEN: COVENANT TAKES PLACE IN THE FUTURE
Duh, right? But seriously, the upcoming follow-up to Ridley Scott’s ALIEN prequel, PROMETHEUS, takes place a little further into the future than you might have expected. According to a recent video interview with costume designer Janty Yates at Collider (http://collider.com/costume-designer-janty-yates-the-martian-alien-covenant-interview/), ALIEN: COVENANT takes place ten years after the events of PROMETHEUS.
She also spoke quite a bit about the design of the costumes, which makes sense, since costumes are her actual occupation.
“In actual fact, PROMETHEUS 2 is not so much of a spacesuit movie. There are two different spacesuits in it, but it is not a great spacesuit movie. We’re only carrying on one look from the PROMETHEUS 1, which is with David, the [robot],” says Yates. “He’s just got the hangover of PROMETHEUS 1’s spacesuit, bits and bobs. So it’s ten years in the future beyond PROMETHEUS.”
When we last left Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the severed head android David (Michael Fassbender), they had just stolen an alien spacecraft and departed on their mission to determine why a mysterious race called “The Engineers” to discover why they wanted to destroy humanity.
As for what we would do in space for ten years with only Michael Fassbender’s head to keep us company… we’re going to leave that question unanswered. For now.
GHOSTBUSTERS VS. GHOST CRIMINALS
The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has been a treasure trove of new information about mysterious upcoming films, starting with Paul Feig’s reboot of GHOSTBUSTERS. All we’ve known about the film thus far is that the cast is predominantly female, which may be a novelty but it’s hardly a plot. Now, we actually know a little bit about who Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Lesie Jones and Kate McKinnon will be battling when the film hits theaters on July 15, 2016.
According to EW.com (http://www.ew.com/article/2015/12/29/ghostbusters-kristin-wiig-melissa-mccarthy-kate-mckinnon-leslie-jones), “Dead criminals from all eras of New York’s underbelly past have returned to roost among the living in Paul Feig’s GHOSTBUSTERS reboot. Pilgrims, old-timey sailors, Revolutionary War spirits, and even a couple of zoot-suited gangsters are ready to take on four formidable female busters looking to rid the city of its phantasmic filth.”
It’s a perfectly clever idea for a new GHOSTBUSTERS movie, and it’s probably downright wise not to recycle the plot of the original, which found the paranormal investigators doing battle with an ancient god intent on destroying the Earth.
DOCTOR STRANGE: NEW PHOTOS, NEW VILLAIN, OLD WHITEWASHING
The first images of Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel’s supernatural superhero DOCTOR STRANGE also emerged from Entertainment Weekly (http://www.ew.com/gallery/marvel-doctor-strange-photos), along with new information (http://www.ew.com/article/2015/12/28/doctor-strange-mads-mikkelsen) about the film’s main villain, played by Mads Mikkelsen.
The HANNIBAL star plays “a sorcerer who breaks off into his own sect,” says the Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. “[He] believes that the Ancient One is just protecting her own power base and that the world may be better off if we were to allow some of these other things [from other dimensions] through.” Feige adds that Mikkelsen’s character’s name is still being kept under wraps, and thus far, despite plenty of internet speculation, “No one has quite picked the name that we’ve chosen for him.”
Feige also defended the casting of actress Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, a character portrayed in the original comics as an Asian male. “We’re never afraid to change,” says Feige. “In the comic books, Jarvis is an elderly butler. In the movies, he’s an A.I. system which becomes Paul Bettany’s Vision. We are always looking for ways to change. I think if you look at some of the early incarnations of the Ancient One in the comics, they are what we would consider today to be quite, sort of, stereotypical. They don’t hold up to what would work today. Also, within the storyline of the comics, and our movie, ‘the Ancient One’ is a title that many people have had. We hit very early on on, What if the Ancient One was a woman? What if the title had been passed and the current Ancient One is a woman? Oh, that’s an interesting idea. [Clicks fingers.] Tilda Swinton! Whoah! And it just hit.”
Kevin Feige also alludes to Tilda Swinton’s androgynous mystique (previously dramatized in the films ORLANDO and CONSTANTINE), stressing that The Ancient One’s gender “doesn’t matter.” We’ll find out exactly what he means when we finally see DOCTOR STRANGE in theaters on November 4.
THE CONJURING 2 CONJURES UP A BRAND NEW IMAGE
James Wan’s follow-up to the 2013 blockbuster THE CONJURING is on its way in just a few months, so we’re probably overdo for a look at it. The first image from the film comes courtesy of that extensive Entertainment Weekly preview, but it doesn’t give us much to go on. Apparently this child is very scared, and desperately needs to clean her room. Also she’s got what looks to be a very respectable crucifix collection. Good for her!
THE CONJURING 2: THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST, due in theaters on June 10, once again finds real life paranormal investigators Ed and Elizabeth Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) trying to save a family from a malevolent supernatural force, the infamous Enfield Poltergeist. As we learned in a previous HORROR NEWS RUNDOWN (http://www.blumhouse.com/2015/12/18/the-new-ghostbusters-alien-conjuring-2-and-more-this-weeks-horror-news-rundown/), they may also be doing battle with the AMITYVILLE HORROR itself.
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S GETS FUNKO
One of the most innovative and popular horror video games in years is finally getting its own toy line, courtesy of Funko (http://funko.com/blogs/news/82653571-coming-soon-five-nights-at-freddys). The company announced its new line of action figures, key chains, pen toppers, 16-inch plush figures and more earlier this week, with an original short film about a Funko employee trapped at the office after hours, squaring off against the malevolent new toys.
In FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S, you play a security guard at a creepy theme restaurant, in which the CHUCK E. CHEESE-like animatronics come alive, stalk the halls, and try to murder you. There have been four games in the hit series already, with the latest – FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S 4 – released in the Summer of 2015.
The adorably creepy new toys are scheduled to be released in May 2016.