The Orphanage has been a big hit on the festival circuit (well, with everyone except our own Russ Fischer, who gave it a 5 out of 10 in his review right here), so it was only a matter of time before this Spanish ghost story got picked up for an English language remake.
The Orphanage is about a woman who returns to the closed down orphanage where she grew up, hoping to turn it into a home for disabled children. When she shows up with her son, he makes friends with an invisible entity… the same one that gave her a hard time decades ago.
Good, scary ghost stories are few and far between, but this one has a fine pedigree: it’s the debut of director Juan Antonio Bayona, who is a protégé of Guillermo del Toro, who produced the movie. Del Toro directed what may be the last great ghost film, The Devil’s Backbone, so it’s cool to think that he may have brought some of that magic here (despite what Russ says!).
The English language remake is being done by New Line and Guillermo is on board to produce that as well; there’s no word on who might be directing. GdT being involved is great news, as it hopefully means the Americanized Orphanage won’t just be some slapdash piece of shit. If you have to remake a brand new foreign film (and you pretty much don’t have to at all ever), at least do it with the right talent involved.
The Spanish language version of The Orphanage will open in the US at the end of the year. If you see the American one before the Spanish one, I will whip your ass.