The biggest news of the week is the on-going “what in the hell are they doing?” bits about NBC’s Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane.  You see, the pilot movie has apparently cost the studio a whopping $10 million (JESUS CHRIST!) and they still aren’t happy with it overall.  While they haven’t officially canned the would-be television series, all signs point to them airing the pilot film sometime this month close to Halloween.  Short of astronomical ratings, it seems unlikely that Bryan Fuller’s re-imagining of the classic show has a chance of going to series.  Lucky for Fuller, he still has Hannibal on the way!

Rob Cohen and Michael Bay continue to threaten the possibility of remaking The Monster Squad, with the former in the director’s chair this time out (he produced the original).  Lucky for us, Paramount won’t return their calls!  Kudos to you, Mountain Top Studio.  Please feel free to continue blasting their reboot designs in the nards until they give up and move on to other properties.  Am I willing to give a redo a chance?  Of course, but not from THAT particular creative team.

FYI, there is no Thankskilling 2.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci recently signed a two-year production deal with Universal that will mostly see them helping the studio once again attempt to revive their classic monster franchises.  First up is a new version of The Mummy, which just landed Len Wiseman as director.  Questionable choice?  Absolutely.  Given that Wiseman isn’t writing though, it could still turn out decently depending on the direction they are taking it in.  After all, even Stephen Sommers gave us one good run at the franchise.  The other property closest to getting going is another try at Van Helsing.  Tom Cruise is producing and starring on this one, which already gives it an air of potential quality.  Kurtzman & Orci have scripted this as well and the studio is eyeing Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) as the helmer.  I suspect Sanders will be sequelizing Huntsman first, as Cruise’s schedule will dictate when this is shot more than anything else.  Say what you will about the man’s personal life, but Cruise is a consummate professional and always gives 110% when it comes to making his films worthwhile.  They might not all quite make it there in the end, but they are at least watchable.

Still on the subject of Universal Monsters comes the news that the studio has hired another writer to take a crack at reinventing The Creature From The Black Lagoon.  Multiple filmmakers (Dante, Carpenter, Landis, Eisner) have come and gone on this particular re-envisioning, the latest of which was Carl Rinsch.  Given his recent problems with 47 Ronin, I’m guessing that may no longer be the case.  Regardless, the studio has snagged Warner Bros.’ favorite Stephen King adapter, David Kajganich to pen the latest take on the property.  Universal has also given Guillermo Del Toro the go-ahead to start pursuing his Frankenstein project again, so it seems that the box office roadblock that 2010’s The Wolfman set up is being bulldozed through.  All of these properties seem to be a priority for the studio, so don’t be surprised if they get a lot of coverage here each week.  Well, that and the fact that I love these franchises.

Let’s switch gears over to Hammer, shall we?  The studio has hired Tom Harper (Misfits, The Scouting Book For Boys) to direct their pending sequel, The Woman In Black: Angel of Death.  The plot sees the house from the original being turned into a military mental hospital during World War II, with the lead (a nurse) doing her best to save the patients from the titular character’s wrath.  The producers are starting to play down the rumors that Daniel Radcliffe might return in a cameo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he still does given his current interest in the genre.  The film is slated to begin production early next year.

Teaser Poster

Now that Dante Tomaselli has finally completed his latest, Torture Chamber, the filmmaker is dead-set on finally remaking his uncle’s Alice, Sweet Alice as his next project.  No start date has been given, but don’t be surprised if a few details arrive once Torture Chamber premieres at Sitges later this year.

Back on the Guillermo Del Toro front, the CHUD favorite director has announced that Disney is in the process of hiring a new writer to do another pass on The Haunted Mansion at his request.  It seems GDT hasn’t given up on directing the film, but simply doesn’t have the time to rewrite it with all of his work on Pacific Rim.  Are we finally on the verge of a GDT directorial onslaught?  It certainly seems that way given the glut of projects that are moving towards the starting line these days: Beauty and the Beast, The Haunted Mansion, Frankenstein, etc.  Let’s hope the man has better luck than usual and can finally start hopping from one project to the next like he has always wanted to do.

These past few weeks have seen the release of countless trailers for January releases.  Texas Chainsaw 3D, Mama, and various non-genre efforts (Parker, Broken CityMovie 43) have all unleashed footage upon the web.  One release’s absence has been particularly noticeable and now we know why:  it’s been pushed back.  James Wan’s next foray into the supernatural, The Conjuring, was originally scheduled for a January 25th debut.  It will now open on July 19th.  How’s that for a show of confidence!  The file is based on famed paranormal investigators the Warrens’ case in Rhode Island and stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, and Lili Taylor.  I absolutely loved Insidious and am very much looking forward to this.

Ryan Reynolds is in negotiations to play the lead in The Voices.  The plots revolves around a man named “Jerry Hickfang, a lovable but strange bathtub factory worker who yearns for the attention of a woman in accounting.  When their relationship takes a sudden murderous turn, Jerry’s evil “talking” cat and benevolent “talking” dog lead him down a fantastical path that ultimately brings him to salvation.”.  Are you laughing yet?  Because I sure as hell am.  The film is described as a psychological thriller, with no mention of it being a comedy.  This should be interesting.  The Voices is slated for an early 2013 start.

On a more serious note, here is the teaser for Jaume Balaguero’s [REC] 4: Apocalypse

Scream Factory has announced the latest addition to the ever-growing roster of cult genre flicks:  Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond.  The Lovecraftian effort will see a Blu-ray/DVD combo release sometime next year with a bevy of new special features, as well as all of those from the previous 2007 DVD release.  These guys & gals are really going to put a hurt on my wallet next year.

In other home video news:

  • Universal has announced that the Reese Witherspoon/Marky Mark-starrer Fear will hit Blu on January 8th.
  • The original Cape Fear (aka “the good one”) will also see release on January 8th from Universal.
  • Kino Classics will be issuing White Zombie to Blu on January 29th.
  • Warner Bros. will be releasing the 1953 Vincent Price version of House of Wax to Blu-ray 3D sometime late next year.

And that’s all he wrote!  I’ll see each and every one of you boils & ghouls next week!