FIRST REPORT ON AMITYVILLE REMAKE
'We were looking for a very scary movie that?s somewhat based in reality, and that?s how we landed on AMITYVILLE,' says Brad Fuller, producer of the upcoming AMITYVILLE HORROR remake, due for release April 15, 2005. 'We loved the idea that it was based on a true story.'
Fuller and partner Andrew Form are no strangers to the horror remake game, having successfully co-produced last year?s controversial revival of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. However, unlike the revamped CHAINSAW, which many fans deemed unnecessary if not downright sacrilegious, the mediocre AMITYVILLE is a ripe target for an update. The 1979 film, which starred James Brolin and Margot Kidder, follows the story of the Lutzes, a young family who faces menacing horrors after moving into their new Long Island home. Their travails were first captured in a best-selling book by Jay Anson?the main source, according to the producers, for the remake.
'What we loved about Amityville was those 28 days,' says Form. 'You have a family moving in and running for their lives after 28 days and never going back to claim one of their possessions. It?s all true. There?s no debating it. That, to us, is very strong.'
Helmed by first-time feature director Andrew Douglas, the 1975-set AMITYVILLE ignores its cinematic predecessor and goes straight to the source material?the mystery itself. Form, Fuller and screenwriter Scott Kosar (who also penned the CHAINSAW remake), spent hours researching the Amityville story, interviewing many who were involved first-hand with the investigation of the murders that took place in the Lutzes? home. 'We try to give a real reason why [murderer] Ronny DeFeo did the things he did, why George Lutz had this connection to the house,' says Form. 'In our version, you will see what the evil is.'
Director Douglas hopes the new version will capture more than just a change in plot. 'I find the original very thin,' he says. 'It?s as if 28 days later they ran out of money, not 28 days later they left.' The director hopes to convey a more cerebral approach. 'The cast were very keen to make it as layered as the genre could take,' he says. 'In terms of dysfunctional family, in terms of trying to track that psychological flaw that something like possession might be able to wedge itself into.'
The AMITYVILLE remake, which wrapped last week outside Chicago, stars Melissa (ALIAS) George and Ryan Reynolds, the actor formally known as Van Wilder who will soon be seen in BLADE: TRINITY and an upcoming spinoff based on his BLADE character, Hannibal King. 'BLADE really opened a lot of doors for me,' admits the actor, looking Brolin-esque in a full beard. Reynolds, who plays troubled stepfather George Lutz, also sees the AMITYVILLE remake as a darker, more accurate and more cerebral take on the original source material. 'What I love about it is that we see this family go in as a unit and as a team,' the actor says. 'And 28 days later they?re as far away from each other as is emotionally and physically possible.'
Courtesy of Fangoria