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We Talk 'Nightmare on Elm Street', 'Friday the 13th' and 'The Birds' Remakes with Platinum Dunes!

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Drew Form and Brad Fuller, along with Michael Bay, make up the horror-producing powerhouse Platinum Dunes.  The company is behind such recent blood-drenched remakes as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, and The Hitcher.  With a much buzzed-about Friday the 13th coming out in time for Valentine’s Day, and a Nightmare on Elm Street remake in the pipes, genre fans have a lot to look forward to.  Here Brad and Drew talk to us about their gore-busting slate, horror movies in 3D, and address some rumors that have been floating around (Billy Bob as Freddy?  Remakes of Rosemary’s Baby and The Birds?) Read on after the jump!

The Friday the 13th trailer got a great reaction at Comic-Con.  Have you gotten any more feedback since then?

Drew: Are you kidding?  Without a doubt, we have gotten the most feedback on that film, out of everything we have ever worked on.  Potentially ever WILL work on.  It’s insane.  I think we all undervalued how big Jason Voorhees is and how much people love talking about him.

So what are they saying?

Drew: It’s been remarkably positive. 

Can you talk about any test screenings you have done on it?

Drew:  We tested it in Long Beach [California].  It wasn’t a blind screening.

Brad:  It was an amazing thing to watch, honestly. 

Drew:  I would say that, for us, our first test screening, for Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a magical thing.  We had no idea what we had.  We then were jaded with all the other test screenings [for other movies] we did.  Then this Friday the 13th screening came along, and took us right back to where we were with Texas Chainsaw.  It was crazy.

How is your Nightmare on Elm Street remake going, and how has your work with Jason influenced what you might do with Freddy?

Brad: Well, we want to put Freddy in a hockey mask.  We’re not sure how people feel about that…  [Laughs.] I think that every iconic horror character you have to take on their own, and figure out what is appealing about that character.  For Jason Voorhees it’s one thing, because—

Drew: He’s a silent killer.

Brad:  Right.  Freddy Krueger is a much more challenging character.  That is not something we stumble into, or say, “Hey, let’s go do this movie.”

Drew: “Put the glove on! Let’s go!”

Brad:  It is something we are treading on very lightly, and I can tell you we don’t have the answer yet.  That is something we will work very hard on, like how much of the Freddy you know from the later movies as opposed to Freddy from the earlier movies.  It’s a balance, and we don’t have that answer yet.

Can you address the rumors that Billy Bob Thorton was attached to play Freddy?

Brad: We have no idea where that came from.

Drew: No idea.

But since that got out, have you gotten any word from him about it?

Drew:  No, nothing.  I think that was just one of those crazy rumors that got out there.

Will Robert Englund do a cameo if he isn’t playing Freddy?

Drew: We would love that, definitely.  I think it would be a travesty if we couldn’t have him in the film.

How far along in the planning process are you with a Nightmare on Elm Street remake?

Drew: We are in the earliest, earliest phases…

Brad: Not very far along.

Is there a horror film that just cannot be done again?  I heard you are doing Rosemary’s Baby.

Brad: We are not doing Rosemary’s Baby.

Drew:  Rosemary’s Baby was announced – it’s a little bit like what we were saying with Freddy.  We went down that road – we talked to the best writers in town, and it feels like it just isn’t do-able.  At least, we couldn’t come up with something where it felt like it was relevant.  We didn’t think we could add something to it, other than just what it was.  So we are now not going to be doing that movie.

Where is Martin Campbell’s The Birds?

Brad: Martin has been working on the script.  We are expecting a script in the next two or three weeks.  This is another one.  It’s not like Drew, Michael [Bay] and I are going to crap all over Alfred Hitchcock’s movie.  Hitchcock is, in company-wide opinion, probably the greatest director for what we do – and other things too.  Michael and I studied him in college, so there is a reverence towards him.  That’s not a movie we are going to step into and just have birds attacking people and throw that at the box office.  If we can’t make that movie unique, or add something to it, I don’t think we will make it

Martin is good at reinventing things.

Brad: He’s great!  Once you get a filmmaker like Martin Campbell, and you start talking to actors like Naomi Watts, a project can really pick up momentum.  But they are not interested in making the same movie that Hitchcock made; they’re interested in making something that moves it along and shows different parts of the story.  That’s what we are hoping the script will be.

As producers, are you at all thinking about making movies in the 3D format?

Drew:  We have.  We talked about it for a couple of projects.  We don’t have any projects set up right now that we are definitely talking about 3D, but Brad and I have talked about it.  We’ve looked at the cameras, we’ve looked at the tests, we watched the YouTube movie – which is unbelievable.

Brad: It presents a challenge for us.  The budgets of our second movie and our eighth movie are virtually the same.  3D adds some money to your budget that could take us from a place of being very comfortable making our movie, to a place where we are not as comfortable.  It’s a more expensive thing, but if we have a story that lends itself to that… certainly The Birds in 3D sounds like a very nice way to tell that story.  Martin came with us to check out the cameras and the videos.  We have done our due diligence; we’re just not ready to commit yet.

Your partner, Michael Bay, is on the forefront of technology.   Is he trying to push any of this technology into your movies?

Drew: You know, we’ve never talked to him about 3D in a real way.

Brad: Some IMAX on Transformers 2.

Drew:  For Bay to get excited about it, it has to transcend being a gimmick, and be a way to enhance the story.  I don’t know if we can convince him of that yet, with what has come out in 3D.  For Michael, it is about what makes the best movie that the most people can enjoy.  I don’t know that he feels 3D has gotten there yet.  I don’t know.

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