How the ‘American Werewolf’ Remake Differs From the Original, According to Max Landis
Whether we like or not (we don’t), there’s going to be a remake of John Landis‘ horror-comedy classic An American Werewolf in London. But unlike most other remakes, this one is going to stay in the family: John Landis’ son Max Landis is penning the screenplay. The younger Landis took to his Twitter account to provide a a brief update on his American Werewolf remake, and reveal how it differs from his father’s original.
John Landis’ 1981 horror-comedy An American Werewolf in London is an all-time classic; a film that navigates between being genuinely funny and genuinely scary, and benefits from some game-changing special effects work courtesy of Rick Baker. As a whole, the film has stood the test of time. But we’re getting a remake of it anyway. John Landis’ son, screenwriter Max Landis, is currently penning the script for the American Werewolf and plans to direct the film himself.
The younger Landis recently took to his Twitter account to provide a brief update on the film. He began with a self-deprecating take on the writing process, announcing that he had finished his first draft of the script: “Finishing my first draft of An American Werewolf In London today. Took me way longer than usual because every time I opened the Final Draft file my laptop would slam closed under the weight of my father’s expectations.”
Then Landis added that he felt that “little happens” in the original film:
Watched American Werewolf like a dozen times in the last two months and it's CRAZY how little happens in the movie. It's entirely linear. Pub > Attack > Dreams/Hospital > Ghost > Sex > Ghost > Werewolf > Freak Out > Ghost > Werewolf > The End.
— Leaf????OnTheStream????OfCreation???? (@Uptomyknees) December 11, 2017
In the original film, two American backpackers in the UK stumble upon a village that happens to be home to a werewolf. When a Twitter user asked Landis why he thought the villagers in the original film didn’t stop the werewolf themselves, the screenwriter revealed that he’s exploring this detail in his script, and it will account for one of the biggest deviations from the original film: “Answering this question and the nature of the village’s role in the plot in the second and third act as of now are the biggest changes I’ve made to the original structure…Doing some fun stuff.”
Max Landis can be a polarizing figure. He’s a frequently in-demand screenwriter who occasionally takes time out of his busy schedule to hop onto Twitter and give opinions on other films, like the time he complained that Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a “Mary Sue,” a take that made me promptly roll my eyes so hard they fell out of my head.
That said, Landis does occasionally bang out a good script. His anti-superhero screenplay Chronicle was very good, and I’m one of the few people who thought the Landis-written American Ultra was entertaining. But we really do not need a remake of American Werewolf, and the fact that Landis thinks “little happens” in the original film makes me nervous that he’s adding a whole bunch of new, unnecessary plot points to his remake. One of American Werewolf‘s charms is that it’s very simple and streamlined. It would be a shame to sacrifice that.
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