Leatherface is getting ready to rev up that trusty chainsaw once again. According to a report coming out of Variety, Legendary Pictures has hired Ryan and Andy Tohill, the duo behind The Dig, to direct an all-new reboot of the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Chris Thomas Devlin will writer the script, and it will be produced by Don’t Breathe’s Fede Alvarez. Alvarez is no stranger to reinventing iconic horror classics, and just a few years back, he directed a remake of The Evil Dead.
In a statement, Alvarez said “The Tohill’s vision is exactly what the fans want. It’s violent, exciting and so depraved that it will stay with you forever.”
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The original Tobe Hooper film came out in 1974, and arguably started the trend of extreme, visceral horror as popular entertainment. The cannibalistic Leatherface and his deranged family became icons of terror. And though not exactly a slasher—one would need a knife to slash and not a giant chainsaw—Leatherface led to a wave of iconic masked killers like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees.
The original film cost less than $300,000 to make, but still brought in some $30 million at the box office upon release. That’s no chump change in 1970s dollars. Even though it was banned in several different countries as being “obscene,” it still managed to become one of the most profitable films ever made. And it is still one of the most influential horror movies of all time. It also led to a long and fruitful career in horror film for Hooper, who went on to direct Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot and Poltergeist.
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The original film spawned several sequels of varying quality before it was remade for the first time back in 2003 for New Line Cinema. That version was also very successful. The big box office of the 2003 version led to two things—a remake boom of horror films from the ’70s and ’80s, and the so-called “torture porn” genre, which included films like Saw and Hostel. When the new Texas Chainsaw clicked with a young audience just like it had 30 years prior, it also spawned sequels of its own. The first was 2006’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. After New Line moved on from the series, Lionsgate then added their entries in the franchise. These followed up from the original 1974 movie, with Texas Chainsaw 3D and Leatherface.
It is unknown how close this version will stick to the original film. Although, the less you stray from the classic formula, the better it is. This is one of those franchises where you don’t go wanting to reinvent the wheel too much. All you need is several attractive young people traveling along rural Texas, who all make the worst pit stop decision of their lives. Even though the 2003 version was updated for modern audiences, it stuck to the ’70s time period. Maybe to differentiate itself, this one will move things up to modern day? We’ll be curious to see what they cook up—no pun intended—when this new remake arrives.
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