John Carl Buechler Talks ‘Troll' Remake


Today I had the opportunity to join a select group of journalists and Friday the 13th actors Kane Hodder and Vincent Craig Dupree, and Friday the 13th Part VII director Carl Buechler, for lunch at Paramount Pictures here in LA, in celebration of the terrific-looking special edition DVDs for Parts VII and VIII. While we were there, Buechler said a few words about his plans for the upcoming remake of his Troll. Hit the jump to read what he had to say.

"I'm getting ready to remake a film that I did back in 1985. It's been a quest to get where I'm at, but I'm moving ahead November 1 on the picture, and we're going to start shooting in February. It's going to be here. It may be in Baton Rouge. I'm not sure because there's a lot of reasons to do it in town, because parts of it are in San Francisco, and I want to shoot San Francisco for San Francisco this time instead of with weird matte paintings. It's a little movie called Troll that is likely to be fairly controversial when I do it.

"That's part of the reason why some of the hurdles that I've been jumping through to get the movie financially secure have been what they've been. But it is now quite financially secure and I've got everything in place, so we're going to make some major announcements with regard to cast and other specifics. We plan to reunite some of the original cast, but in cameos. I've talked to Annie [Lockhart] and I've talked to Noah [Hathaway] and there are folks that are very interested; one person will reprise their role, and that will be Phil Fondacaro.

"But the character of the troll is going to be played completely by someone else, a person of great stature. Because we see Torok before he becomes a troll, and we see him after he transforms back into the person that he was. He also plays the personality and the voice of the troll."

About remaking his own film, Buechler remarked, "I think the remake promises to be so much better than the original, and I have so much passion for it that there was no other alternative but I gotta direct it. I know that I can bring to it what I wanted to initially.

"But I was very much surprised the first time around, with a radical budget cut a month before shooting. We had to sort of change our whole approach from a more serious, darker kind of a project into 'Well, we can't really show it so we have to talk about it, so we have to play it more for laughs now.' The first film, I think it's fine as it is, in terms of it is a campy little kids film, but now I don't have to make it that way. But because of the existence of the first movie there has to be some of that aspect in there as well.

"So it's a hybrid of tone; it's still going to have some of the humor but it's going to be more ironic as opposed to winking at the camera. I won't have to play it light. I mean, on the first one I got ten percent of what those things were capable of, so now I've got more money, I've got more time, and what I can't do physically with animatronics and prosthetics, I'll do CGI. It will have a variation on [the musical number]; not the same way, but the way it was envisioned. I think the way I intend to use the music now, it's more of a march, and it's an army. The music was written before we shot the sequence, obviously. And there were different plans in making that film; one was the budget that I thought I had and then the budget that I knew I had, and taking all of the things I'd done in prep and try to [do them]. You ever hear the expression where you got a ten-pound bag and 20 pounds of material to stuff into it? I had like 50 pounds of material to stuff into it. So I did what I could with what I had."

After lunch, Buechler told us that he's raised 46.2 million to remake Troll; and that he's not heard of anyone else raising this much money to make this type of independent film.

Note: Thanks to our good friend Todd Gilchrist for his help in transcribing the above.