The future of your favorite horror franchises just got weirder. This week on the Horror News Rundown, we’re taking a look at long-awaited video games that are finally seeing the light of day, long-awaited films that just got shoved back into development hell, a video game film about a giant wolfman and the sequel to (arguably) the worst horror movie ever made.
The future’s so dark, you gotta wear the opposite of shades. You gotta wear, like, a miner’s hat or something. Anyway, here’s this week’s Horror News Rundown.
Finally: Your DOOM Comes on May 13, 2016
DOOM wasn’t the first first-person shooter video game, but it was the game that made the now-ubiquitous genre take off like a bat out of hell. The saga of a solo space marine, trapped on Mars with homicidal demons, spawned countless imitators, multiple sequels and a forgettable motion picture adaptation in 2005 that starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
But fans of DOOM have been left empty-handed for years now, as development on DOOM 4 turned into a difficult process. Production started on the game way back in 2008, but that version was scrapped in 2011 so id Software could start over from scratch. Now, the finished product – now called simply DOOM – will arrive on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 13, 2016.
DOOM arrives from the publisher Bethesda Softworks, who previously released the hit franchises FALLOUT and ELDER SCROLLS. The new game trailer for DOOM arrived this week, and although it seems like a pretty straightforward shooter, it doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad one. Anyway, those hell beasts have never looked better. Check it out above.
There’s No Slender Man in AMERICAN HORROR STORY After All
The internet was abuzz last week when a rumor, which started in US Weekly of all places, suggested that the next season of the hit series AMERICAN HORROR STORY would be about The Slender Man, a “Creepy Pasta” urban legend who managed to become the de facto pop culture boogeyman of the last ten years. It sounded like the sort of topic the FX series might theoretically tackle, so we ran it as a rumor, just like every other horror publication in the world.
But apparently the story was wrong: Entertainment Weekly claims that they have an inside source who debunked the Slender Man rumor as “not true.” Apparently the story for the upcoming sixth season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY has already been selected, and fans can expect an official announcement in March.
Damn you, US Weekly! And to think, your horror credentials used to be so impeccable!
AMERICAN PSYCHO Filmmakers Reunite for a Different American Psycho
Since its release in 2000, Mary Harron’s AMERICAN PSYCHO gradually evolved from a cult classic into a bona fide classic. The adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel, which Harron co-scripted with Guinevere Turner (BLOODRAYNE), starred Christian Bale as a materialistic mass murderer who gets away with his crimes because, hey, it’s the 1980s. Everyone had their own crap going on and a lot of it involved cocaine.
Now, the makers of AMERICAN PSYCHO are reuniting to tell the story of a different American psycho: Charles Manson. Deadline reports this week that Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner are working on THE FAMILY, a film about a graduate student named Karlene Faith who worked with three of Charles Manson’s brainwashed cult members. The film is described as a “procedural” about Faith’s work with these women, and the women themselves as they become aware of the seriousness of their crimes.
Charles Manson and his “Manson Family” were responsible for nine murders in 1969. The strange details of the case and the media coverage that ensued have been the inspiration for many horror stories in the years that followed, multiple feature films and documentaries, and most recently the TV series AQUARIUS, starring David Duchovny.
Casting is expected to begin on THE FAMILY shortly, with production expected to start in the summer.
THE STAND Takes a Back Seat to REVIVAL
A big budget, multi-film adaptation of Stephen King’s THE STAND has been in the works for years now. The original 1978 novel was an epic tale of a virus that wipes out almost all of humanity, leaving a very small number of survivors to fight for the fate of humanity against a supernatural villain named Randall Flagg. THE STAND was later adapted into a popular TV mini-series in 1994 by frequent Stephen King collaborator Mick Garris (SLEEPWALKERS), and a feature film version has passed to multiple directors in the years that followed, including David Yates (HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE), Scott Cooper (CRAZY HEART) and Ben Affleck (ARGO).
Eventually THE STAND was given to filmmaker Josh Boone (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), who has been hard at work getting the film up-and-running. But apparently it took so damned long to start production that Warner Bros. has lost their option on the property. The rights to THE STAND have reverted to CBS Films, according to Deadline, and despite “verbal commitments” with multiple cast members, filmmaker Josh Boone has left to do a completely different Stephen King adaptation.
Josh Boone has instead signed up to direct REVIVAL, based on a 2014 Stephen King novel about a preacher whose wife and family are killed, and who discovers the healing powers of electricity. The filmmaker has been quoted as saying, “REVIVAL is the scariest thing he’s written since PET SEMATARY.” Hopefully the movie can follow suit!
The Power of Fox Compels Rupert Wyatt to Direct THE EXORCIST
Lots of horror movies are being turned into television series lately, but when Fox announced that they were going to turn THE EXORCIST into a serialized show, everyone’s heads turned all the way around and projectile-vomited pea soup. William Friedkin’s Oscar-winning original film is still considered one of the scariest movies ever made. Who could they possibly get to remake that masterpiece?
This week, we learned they are actually going to get filmmaker Rupert Wyatt, the director of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, to remake that masterpiece. Wyatt’s APES movie was a reinvention of a genre classic that nobody expected to work, but it turned out to be an acclaimed box office success, so maybe Fox is onto something here.
Deadline describes the TV version of THE EXORCIST as “a propulsive, serialized psychological thriller following two very different men tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession and confronting the face of true evil.” The teleplay is being written by Jeremy Slater, who previously worked on the screenplays to THE LAZARUS EFFECT and the recent reboot of FANTASTIC FOUR.
Let’s Go, GHOSTBUSTERS!
Paul Feig’s reboot of the classic horror-comedy GHOSTBUSTERS hits theaters this summer on July 15, 2016. The film stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the paranormal investigators this time around, with Chris Hemsworth taking over the role of their loyal assistant. And since the film comes out in just a few short months, the time finally came this week to unveil an all-new website for the production, which offers several new stills from the film, like this one of the hunky Hemsworth.
Seriously, he looks really, really good in this photo. Much better than spores, molds and fungus. Head on over the official site for more images from GHOSTBUSTERS, because you ain’t afraid of no links.
Let’s Go, GHOSTBUSTERS INTERNATIONAL!
Not to be outdone, IDW Publishing also released this week a new comic book series called GHOSTBUSTERS INTERNATIONAL, which makes the perfectly reasonable assumption that if ghosts are real, they’re probably not all in New York City.
The new comic, written by Eric Burnham (who also wrote the mini-series GHOSTBUSTERS: INFESTATION and GHOSTBUSTERS GET REAL) with art by Dan Schoening (GHOSTBUSTERS HOLIDAY SPECIAL), debuted digitally via Comixology, which describes the plot thusly:
There’s something strange in the neighborhood… and whether that neighborhood is in New York City or Venice, Italy, the Ghostbusters will be there! After a bust at the United Nations, the boys in gray are engaged to investigate an Old World haunting, where they begin to unravel a mystery that sends them around the globe (while still trying to keep their contract with the City, County, and State of New York!). Join us for the next chapter in Ghostbusters history — because you demanded it: GHOSTBUSTERS INTERNATIONAL!
Who you gonna call… in Europe?! Probably the same guys. That’s cool.
A Giant Wolfman?! The RAMPAGE Movie Rampages On…
The 1986 arcade game RAMPAGE was both dumb and totally awesome. Gamers took control of giant monsters and competed to see who could destroy more skyscrapers. It was an impish conceit that tied into our mutual love of giant beasts, cathartic mayhem, and giant wolfmen. Because for some reason, in addition to a King Kong analogue and a Godzilla analogue, RAMPAGE also included a giant wolfman. (Since when was that even a thing?)
A feature film version of RAMPAGE is on the way, starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by his SAN ANDREAS collaborator Brad Peyton. We figured it could just be another one of those films that gets tossed into development hell and never comes out again, but Johnson updated his fans on the project this week via his Instagram account, with an announcement that the film now has screenwriters: COLONY creators Ryan Condel and Carlton Cuse are bringing this giant wolfman to life (along with its friends), and they’re all going to be wrecking major cities and landmarks really soon.
RAMPAGE is scheduled to arrive in theaters in 2017. Start saving your quarters now.
MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE… The Sequel?!
We are rapidly approaching the 50 year anniversary of MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE, one of the worst motion pictures ever made, made infamous by those kooky folks at MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. The film, a squalid low-budget feature with wonky sound, was about an angry family who accidentally drive up to the gates of Hell, berate a satyr into carrying their luggage for them, and eventually run afoul of a mustachioed “Master” and his harem of underpants wives.
So naturally, the time is just right for a sequel. Cast members from the original MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE are reuniting for MANOS RETURNS, a new Kickstarter project from Jackey Neyman Jones, who played the little girl “Debbie” in the original film. The sequel is about a group of filmmakers who discover that MANOS was actually based on a true story and try to find the original location where all the horror went down. (Yes, it’s basically the same story as BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2.)
The film is described as “almost camp-y” on the Kickstarter page, which is currently trying to drum up a perfectly reasonable $24,000 for the production. Perks include hand-crafted props, a manicure with the cast and a walk-on role (for those willing to dole out $2,000 or more).