Variety reports that at least three “horror” films produced by Val Lewton in the 1940s might be remade in the near future:
Evolution Entertainment’s horror division Twisted Pictures has formed a joint venture with RKO Pictures and plans to remake four genre pics from the RKO library.
The companies will co-finance development and production of “The Body Snatcher,” a 1945 Robert Wise-directed thriller that starred Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff; the 1943 pic “I Walked With a Zombie”; and the 1946 Karloff starrer “Bedlam.” They’ve yet to select the fourth title from the RKO vault.
Interestingly, two of these titles have been remade before. The Body Snatcher is based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson which has been adapted several times since; and I Walked with a Zombie was apparently remade a few years ago by the ‘Tales from the Crypt’ gang as a movie called Ritual (2001).
Needless to say, I don’t hold out much hope that these new remakes will be any good. The only other Val Lewton film that has been remade, as far as I know, is Cat People (1942), and Paul Schrader’s 1982 version was quite inferior, as I recall. Plus, Variety mentions that the most recent remake of an RKO film was, of all things, Are We Done Yet? — in which Ice Cube took over the role created by Cary Grant in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948). So, that isn’t exactly the best track record.