Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter is my favorite Hammer horror movie of all time, bar none. So when I heard from Simon Oakes, the guy in charge of the newly reborn Hammer Films -- who today met with LA's online press -- that the studio is planning a reboot of Kronos, well, let's just say I might have squeed like a twelve-year-old Twilight fan. But Kronos isn't the only reboot Hammer is planning. Hit the jump for the deets.
"We would never remake," Oakes told me and my fellow journos. "We might reimagine. One of the first questions I was asked when we bought the company was ‘Are you gonna remake all those old Hammer films?' Well, why would you do that? Because in a sense they almost were of their time. They almost became old-fashioned as they came up to the end of the period of time when they were making those pictures. Because the same time when Dracula A.D. was being made, The Omen was being made. Think about that difference in terms of style. But there are some amazing characters here that we want to reimagine – like Quatermass, like Kronos."
"Kronos," I told Oakes, "is the most underrated Hammer film ever."
"We're gonna do Kronos," he nodded, "We're gonna do Kronos. And we're gonna ask, ‘What would he be like today? What would he look like today?' The great thing about him of course is that he's a vampire but not a vampire. He has all the traits of a vampire – he never ages – but, luckily, he's not a vampire. So there's so many things you can do with that... We have some characters here that we are going to reboot. Those are two of them. Then we've got a couple of other titles, like The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires. We're working on the reimagining of that. But not a straight remake. We're repurposing them – doing a new Quatermass movie, doing a new Kronos movie. Not remaking the same film with it's log line the same, but saying, ‘What would the Kronos movie of 2011 look like? Or the Quatermass of 2012? Maybe some of these characters should live in television as well, particularly Quatermass, which I'm thinking about at the moment.
"What I love about Quatermass is that he was the government's chief scientist. Science is cool. So what would he be doing now? In the original Quatermass that Nigel Kneale created, he's like a classic character who, like a Bourne or a Bond, has two masters if you like, both of whom are trying to fuck with his head. One, in Bourne's case, is the CIA, in Bond's it's MI6; by the same token, the enemy, they're fucking with him -- and they end up being this person who's sort of alone.That's what Quatermass was always like. He was always prescient, he was always ahead of his time. A lot of Kneale's work was about the damaging of the environment, and he used the alien thing as a metaphor for what we're doing to our planet. It was quite interesting. I met him shortly before he died, and I'm friendly with his widow. And it's amazing, there's a lot of rich material in there that we can rethink. But the issues that he'd be dealing with in 1957 compared to what we're dealing with today… That's the thing. That's where we'd have to use our imagination."
FEARnet's own Jen Yamato then asked about one Hammer film she'd like to see remade -- Doctor Jekyll and Sister Hyde.
"Funnily, you should say that," said Oakes with a sly grin. When pressed for details, he would only reply with a laugh. "My lips are sealed..."
But mine aren't. I'll have our full interview with Oakes up soon, in which he talks about the studio's remake of Let the Right One In and Christopher Lee's return to Hammer horror in The Resident.