Back in August of 2014, we learned that a prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre titled Leatherface would be making its way to theaters courtesy of Platinum Dunes after the monster financial success of Texas Chainsaw 3D in 2013. Last week, fans of the franchise got some major casting news with actors closing deals to play three main roles in the film including Leatherface’s mother, friend and the younger version of the man himself. It seems that while Platinum Dunes is regrouping to figure out what to do next with Jason Voorhees, they’re moving fast on getting Leatherface into production. With that, here’s Everything We Know About… Leatherface.
The Screenplay: For as long as the prequel has been announced, the script the film has been working from is Seth M. Sherwood’s take on the Texas cannibal. This is Sherwood’s first feature script in production to date with various shorts under his belt. Leatherface was also featured on The Blood List, the annual list of the thirteen best unproduced genre screenplays of the year, so that’s got to count for something. It has also been reported that while there was a bit of timeline confusion in the more recent Texas Chainsaw, the prequel will, in fact, be set in the 1970s. This part of the story I like most as I’m enjoying the mini-trend of period horror films like The Conjuring and Annabelle. I especially like this for a Texas Chainsaw Massacre story. I think it makes it all the more scary to not have modern technology at your fingertips.
The Directors: French directing duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury will bring the film to life after helming previous horror entries like the vampire tale Livide and most notably Inside. I’m in the rare minority of folks who did not care for Inside but it frequently makes “Most Underappreciated” horror lists and most genre fans love it. In any case, one thing is for sure: Bustillo and Maury are not afraid to go for full bloody and guts and get totally effed up and weird, which is probably very important when making a movie about how Leatherface came to be.
The Cast: A lot of casting news broke this week about the Leatherface prequel and as a result, plot details emerged, too. The first bit came by way of The Wrap who reported that British television actor Sam Strike was in negotiations to play Jackson, the young man who ultimately becomes Leatherface. Then, Bloody Disgusting broke the news that genre favorite Angela Bettis of May, The Woman, The Toolbox Murders (Hey look! Another Tobe Hooper movie!) and others would be playing Jackson’s mother, Verna Sawyer. Finally, we got word that James Bloor, an up-and-coming actor who graduated from Cambridge (so, another Brit?), would be playing one of Jackson’s best friends according to The Wrap. What was interesting about this write up was that the article suggested that the boys would be playing a group of teenage psychos who might possibly all grow up to be Leatherface. According to the article, “It’s unclear if there will be multiple actors playing Leatherface or whether we will see the character at different stages of his life in this film.” Very interesting…
So what does all of this mean? I’m getting a Bates Motel meets The Devil’s Rejects vibe from the very little that we know. First, they’ve got a hot British dude playing the would-be killer and we know that his mother, who is absent in the Hooper original, will play an important role. We also know that there are a group of psychopaths wreaking havoc in their teenage years and one of them grows up to be the iconic character. Given the first film, it seems like it’s a long throw from Sam Strike to the Leatherface we all know but I guess that’s the point of the prequel.
What say you, horror fans? Are these new casting choices and plot details making you excited for the film? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!