June 4, 2006

Rob Zombie to Helm Halloween 9?

There is a rumor floating around the net that none other than Rob Zombie has been signed to write and direct the continuing adventures of Michael Myers. In addition to those duties, Zombie is also tapped as a producer and the music supervisor. The only problem, at this point, is that this is a rumor that has been circling with no hard evidence that it is actually going to happen.

I must say that I am intrigued at the possibility of Rob Zombie's creative mind being unleashed on the world of the Shatner-masked slasher. Will this be a a prequel, chronicling the time prior to his return home? Will it take place after the events of the enormously disappointing Halloween: Resurrection? Or perhaps it will take place somewhere in the middle? What I see is the potential for the best Halloween film since the original classic. I'm getting ahead of myself, I would really like to see some confirmation of this. I am giddy at the possibility, much like I was at the admittedly absurd rumor last year about Quentin Tarantino heading up a Friday the 13th chapter.

The rumor of this first appeared over at Fangoria.com. It has since spread to Blabbermouth.net and Bloody-Disgusting.com. The latter claims to have an exclusive press release regarding Zombie and Halloween, but I remain skeptical until this arrives at other outlets. What makes me suspicious is this: "Miramax Films will co-finance the development with Dimension Films. The announcement was made today by The Weinstein Company co-chairman, Bob Weinstein." It seems odd that the Weinsteins would make an announcement for a film that is being financed by a different company, since they severed their ties with Disney and Miramax last year.

Furthermore, Rob is quoted in the press release as saying: "I have been a huge, huge fan of John Carpenter's original film since its release. So when Bob Weinstein approached me about this, I jumped at the chance to join forces with Dimension Films on this amazing project."

So far, Rob Zombie has made two films. First there was House of 1000 Corpses, which did nothing but split up the crowd. There are a large number of people who absolutely despise this film, and a much smaller group of those who liked it. Count me among those who did like it. It was an interesting first outing, a love song of sorts to the horror films of Rob's youth. It was very much like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. It is no hidden fact that Rob is a huge fan of horror movies, with a particular affinity for those films from the 1970s. He wears those influences on his sleeve, and that may have been the biggest detriment to this film. He seems to have tried to cram everything into this one picture without really thinking it out. In any case, this was a semi-promising start to his film career.

After that, Rob was given the chance to direct a sequel. Last year Rob gave birth to The Devil's Rejects. The movie may be about the same psychotic family as his earlier film, but this was completely different in tone and execution. This may be the single biggest leap in quality between first and second films that I have witnessed, not that I can think of many others offhand. This second film was so much more focused and entertaining, while still paying homage to the gritty films of the 70s. This film is a lot harder and gritty and just flat out better than what he had done before. This is the movie that delivers a great new visionary to the silver screen. Someone who works outside the system and will not let his vision be compromised.

This is the kind of guy I would like see place his stamp on a classic character. Granted, we don't always want or need sequels and remakes, but since they are proven money makers for the studios, and we are bound to get them one way or another, I would like to see creative talent attached that has the possibility of bringing in something new or original. Guys like Zack Snyder, who did a much better than expected job with his reimagining of Dawn of the Dead, and Gore Verbinski's translation of The Ring. I have no idea what direction he would take, but Rob Zombie seems like a good choice for this project, although I look forward to his original work as well.

Rob Zombie has original work coming down the pipe as well. His animated feature, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, is in post production, and is due for theaters in 2007. The voice cast includes Paul Giamatti, Danny Trejo, Sherri Zombie, and Brian Posehn.

Time will tell if this pans out. I hope that it is true, but at the same time, I have some serious reservations.

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