Throughout the 80s and 90s, the horror genre was all about sequels. In the 2000s, it’s been all about remakes. But something interesting has been happening in the last couple years, a movement that looks to be replacing those nonstop remakes with something a little bit different.
I’m of course talking about TV adaptations of popular horror movies, and recent shows like Bates Motel and Hannibal have proven that the small screen is a terrific way to reboot popular properties, while at the same time not angering or alienating the diehard fans of those properties. True, the move from the big screen to the small screen is nothing new in the world of horror, but the results have never been as successful or impressive as they have been in recent years.
Due to the success of the aforementioned shows, and horror on TV in general, it was a no-brainer that other horror movies would soon find themselves on the radars of TV executives, and a handful of small screen adaptations of popular big screen terrors are indeed soon headed our way. Here are eight of them that we have to look forward to!
Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the 1973 release of The Exorcist, a birthday that was celebrated not just with a special Blu-ray package but also the announcement that a spin-off TV series was in the early stages of development. It was in August that we learned rights holders Morgan Creek were shopping around a dramatic television series based on the original film, written by young screenwriter Jeremy Slater – who penned the upcoming films Lazarus and The Fantastic Four. Though no details have been revealed about the direction the show will take, Morgan Creek is apparently quite pleased with what Slater has come up with. Also no word yet on when pea soup will be vomited all over our television screens.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
After spawning two sequels, which are more fun than they ever get credit for, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s very first collaboration is getting ready to sink its teeth into the small screen. From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series is set to premiere March 11th, on Rodriguez’ brand new El Rey Network. The network’s first original series will be kicked off with a 10-episode inaugural season, and it will feature characters familiar to fans of the film, including the Gecko brothers, the Fuller family, Sheriff Earl McGraw and even Santanico Pandemonium – though they’ll all be played by new actors. Just like in the film, Seth and Richie will be on the run from the law in the series, kidnapping the Fullers and ending up at the Titty Twister. The series will expand on the mythology of the film, and Rodriguez himself directed the first two episodes.
Though 2010’s Legion garnered mostly negative reviews and has more or less been forgotten by genre fans in the years subsequent to its release, it nevertheless ended up grossing more than double its budget, so I guess it’s not all that much of a surprise that we’ll soon be seeing an expansion on the story of a fallen angel battling hellish angel-demons. In early 2012, it was announced that Syfy was developing an original TV series based on the film, and the pilot episode was officially greenlit in the summer of last year. Titled Dominion, the series will take place 25 years after the events of Legion, and follow a young soldier named Alex Lannen, who realizes that the fate of humanity rests on his shoulders. Scott Stewart, the co-writer and director of the film, directed the pilot. No word yet on when it will premiere on the network.
In 1985, Tobe Hooper followed up Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Funhouse and Poltergeist with the sci-fi flick Lifeforce, based on the 1976 novel The Space Vampires. Nearly 30 years later, Colin Wilson’s novel about life-sucking alien creatures gets the small screen treatment, with a TV series that bears the same title as Hooper’s film. Ringleader Studios is the company behind the series, and they also plan on turning the book into a video game and graphic novel. For those looking to revisit Hooper’s take on the novel, you’ll be happy to know that Scream Factory released it onto Blu-ray last year.
Another story that began as a book, then became a film, and is now getting set to transform into a TV series is The Mist, the 1980 novella written by Stephen King and the 2007 feature film directed by Frank Darabont. Though this is one of those projects we don’t yet know all that much about, word came from the Weinsteins last year that they and Darabont are developing a 10-part series based on the film, which told the story of a small town besieged by giant fog-dwelling monsters.
Another property that the Weinsteins are looking to add to Dimension Films' small screen slate is Scream, and a series based on the franchise is currently being developed for MTV. Last we heard about the project, Criminal Minds writers Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin were hired to pen the one-hour pilot, and the series will apparently have little to do with the storylines present in the four films that comprise the franchise. According to Harvey Weinstein, the show will “represent a new beginning,” and will also have some sort of supernatural aspect to it. Wes Craven has been approached to direct the pilot, and though he tweeted last year that he’s interested as long as he’s impressed with the script, he has yet to say whether or not he’ll be involved. The original plan was for the show to premiere in the summer of this year.
In 2008, Platinum Dunes planned on making a big screen remake of 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby, but ended up aborting the project (no pun intended!) when they just couldn’t come up with a way to effectively pull it off. No more cries from horror cinema’s most iconic devil baby were heard until last year, when NBC announced that they were turning the classic film into a four-hour-long mini-series, which is described as a retelling of Ira Levin’s original novel. The new version of events is set in Paris, with Zoe Saldana recently landing the role of the titular Rosemary. Produced by Lionsgate, the series is written by Scott Abbott and Final Destination creator James Wong, and will be directed by Agnieszka Holland. Just in case anyone is unfamiliar with the story, the basic gist is that Rosemary and her husband move into an apartment complex together, she gets pregnant, and then becomes consumed by the idea that her neighbors and even her husband are plotting against her and her unborn child. And then there’s the whole thing about being raped by Satan and giving birth to his spawn, but I’m pretty sure you’re already familiar with that part!
October of last year saw the premiere of NBC’s Dracula, which is run and written by Daniel Knauf. It wasn’t long after Dracula sank his fangs into the network that NBC announced plans that a Wolfman adaptation would follow in its footsteps, based on the 2010 remake of the 1941 classic. Knauf has been tapped to write and produce the world’s most famous werewolf’s first official foray into television, which will chronicle the further adventures of the cursed Lawrence Talbot. No word yet on who will be portraying Talbot, or when we can expect the show to start howling its way onto NBC.
Which of these upcoming shows are you most excited about checking out? Comment below and let us know!