It had been known for a while that MGM was looking to reboot the 1982 classic fright-fest Poltergeist,and had gone through a cadre of writers, including Scott Derrickson, Juliet Snowden, Stiles White and Paul Harris Boardman -all screenwriters of recent horror films such as Sinister, The Possession, Boogeyman and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, respectively.
But when MGM went into bankruptcy in 2009, the plans stalled. When it finally emerged from that nightmare in February of 2011, they announced a list of five films that were high priority to make. One of those five films they felt they should do was the long-gestating remake of the Tobe Hooper classic.
Then quietness fell, as the studio ramped up other films, including The Hobbit (which they had the distribution rights to) and a remake of Robocop –which seems to have many issues during production.
So 14 long months would go by before MGM announced that, in April of 2012, that Oz: The Great and Powerful director Sam Raimi had signed on as producer and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rise of the Guardians and Oz: The Great and Powerful) had been hired to solve the problems four other writers could not: how do you improve on what was, essentially, a good script to begin with?
Fast forward a further ten months now as MGM has confirmed they’ve settled on Monster House and City of Ember helmer Gil Kenan to direct. Beyond that, though, no production start or release date has been announced.
While I have no personal grind against Kenan, I’m still curious why we need a remake of Poltergeist, as the 1982 one is pretty close to perfect, Yeah, in thirty years technology has improved so you can have better visual and practical effects, but the screenplay by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais and Mark Victor and the performance from the cast sold the picture. And sure, the two subsequent sequels ruined it what was seen in the first feature, but is there a need -beyond a financial one (once again, how’s that Robocop remake coming along? Delays, cost over-runs? Yeah, just as I thought)- a need to remake this film?
Just remake crappy ones, as far as I’m concerned.