Released in 1982, the now iconic horror movie was directed by Tobe Hooper from an original idea by producer Steven Spielberg. Its long been rumored that Tobe, who made a name for himself with the low budget The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, fell victim to the pressures of a huge Hollywood blockbuster, suffering from panic attacks that led to Spielberg, who was just down the street working on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, taking over and helming the majority of the project.
That same scenario isn't likely on the set of the new Poltergeist, and even if it were, we probably wouldn't hear about it. As it seems to be a much smaller affair. Gil Kenan, best known for his directorial debut, the animated Monster House, and not so much for his failed YA adaptation City of Ember, is helming this new take on the suburban haunting. He may have gotten a blessing from Spielberg, who executive produced Monster House, but Steven is no where to be seen here. Instead, he is replace by a couple of other horror icons in executive producers Sam Raimi and Robert G. Tapert.
The duo effectively relaunched their own horror franchise earlier this year with Evil Dead, which was welcomed by fans for not being a complete rehash of the original movie. They are taking the same approach with Poltergeist, which will share themes with the original, but is a completely different story.
Instead of Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson) and his family, which included Diane Freeling (JoBeth Williams), Dana Freeling (Dominique Dunne), Robbie Freeling (Oliver Robins) and poor little Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O'Rourke), we are getting an entirely new family. And the production as lined up a pretty great cast. Sam Rockwell will be playing Eric Bowen, with Rosemarie DeWitt as his wife Amy Bowen. They still have three children, two daughters and a son, but the twist is that the little boy is the one kidnapped by the supernatural forces that have taken residency in their home. Aside from that, the rest of the story is being kept under wraps.
This new version of Poltergeist is shooting in Ontario, Canada, with Gil Kenan looking to reestablish the iconic suburban environment of the original film. New set videos and photos, which we can't show you here, have revealed that the main house is almost identical to the one in the 1982 classic. With the film currently shooting in an actual neighborhood cul-de-sac, plenty of neighbors have come out to snap images, giving us our first real look at what is going on.
With the second link, you have to really dig through some of the submissions to find the good stuff. But we definitely get a feel for this reboot, which is meant to rebrand and launch a new franchise.
What are your feelings on this so far? Are you glad they are going with a totally different family, and that this isn't meant to tread on what came before it? Should they have just called it something else? Or do you wish they would have made an honest to God remake? We're not sure how the fans are leaning. Some seem to really be embracing the concept of a new Poltergeist. Does it even stand a chance of being as good as the original? It stands now as a true class in the genre, so it will be a hard sell come this time next year, when Poltergeist is released in theaters everywhere.
Poltergeist comes to theaters July 24th, 2015 and stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Nicholas Braun, Jane Adams, Saxon Sharbino, Kennedi Clements, Kyle Catlett. The film is directed by Gil Kenan.