Participating in the press tour for Fox Searchlight’s HILLS HAVE EYES remake (on which he was a producer, with Alexandre Aja directing), Wes Craven found some solo time to chat with Fango about a number of new creations which are slowly seeing maturation. One of those is Craven’s dabbling in the city of sin: MAGICK MACABRE, a stage production the horrormeister is collaborating on with RIVERDANCE producer John McColgan.
Craven reveals that he just turned in a second draft of the script, and says that audiences can expect a story of some sort to run through the show, as opposed to just a series of mind-bending and horrifying illusions. “It’s certainly within a framework of narration,” he tells us. “There’s a storyteller who talks to and moves among the audience and has his own magical qualities as things go on. But as far as the actors on stage, there are very few words exchanged. They just do the act, but you get the plot from the narrator. McColgan wanted it translatable to all cultures, so the easiest way to do that was to have one person speaking. He’s been showing the script around, and apparently everybody loves it. I hear [Vegas development mogul] Steve Wynn wants to get his hands on it.” As for when Vegas visitors can expect to see the show, “It’s about a two-year process from conception to putting it on its feet. There’s a lot of advanced engineering involved.”
Personally pleased with both Aja’s work on HILLS (so much so that he’s producing Aja’s next feature, THE WAITING) and the early critical reaction the film has been getting, Craven sees the experience as positive incentive to get the long-mooted LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake rolling soon. At the moment, a draft of the script penned by Mark Haslett has been circulating throughout Hollywood. “Some serious rewrites are in order, quite frankly,” Craven says honestly. “Parts of it were where I thought it should be, and other parts I didn’t get. Sean [Cunningham] was developing it with that writer for a while before I became aware of it. But while the script still needs work, we have tons of interest in the project.
“Our agent thinks we should get a director on board before going to the studios, but there is a lead on the studio front who is most likely to get it,” Craven adds. “I just believe it’s a compelling story, and it has those elements I like of perpetrators who seem to be nothing more than beasts, and then as they go through the story, they become more and more human; and on the other hand you have a righteous family, but what are they like when they get mad? 9/11 is a great example. Somebody does something so heinous and awful, but the response starts to verge on that itself. It’s about responding to horrible things with more horrible things.”
While Craven says he wouldn’t mind taking some down time to do a little gardening, “I would like to, before I leave the planet, write something on the making of my early films up to SCREAM; that’d be fun. I’d also like to do one more blockbuster thing in the genre, but of course it would have to be right, and original.” Prospects of a RED EYE 2 are on the horizon, but it looks as if Craven may be diverting off the genre flight path yet again, tackling a comedy as his next directorial effort. “It’s called DREAM GIRLS and it’s supposed to be set up at Warner Bros.,” he reveals. “It’s funny and it made me laugh out loud when I read it. It’s like THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY; it doesn’t quite have the raunch factor, but it’s about a guy who gets the extraordinary opportunity to spend some time with a marvelous woman, and it turns out to be a total nightmare.”