A little harsh on director Dennis Iliadis, as actually from what I’ve heard his remake of The Last House on the Left earlier this year was actually half-decent. OWF’s Mike Edwards liked it, anyways.
It’s just, when a top industry talent like Martin Campbell leaves a $60 million budgeted Universal project (he’s doing Green Lantern instead), and a second or possibly third tier director (not a dig, he’s only made one movie but he has to climb the ladder like everyone else) comes on board to replace him, then it is surely a case of nobody wanting the job.
And who can blame them? Who would want to remake The Birds? I know I’ve mentioned before that if you were to remake any Alfred Hitchcock movie, it would both financially (as it was Hitch’s big crowd-pleaser) and creatively (it’s the one Hitch story that lends itself to big budgets and special effects) make sense to remake this one but at the end of the day, it’s a small concept that can easily be adapted into other things.
Don’t call it The Birds, don’t steal scene-by-scene. You don’t need too.
Stephen King managed to do adapt Hitch’s story with The Mist, and make it his own thing. The idea in essence boils down to a coastal town under attack from something scary, something vicious, and you can make it a literal or an allegory of anything you want.
That’s not me having a go at Hitch because I love The Birds and of course I understand the cold-war paranoia that works as an undertone to the movie but even Hitch would admit that it was little more than a light-hearted blockbuster.
But alas, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes have already milked the cow of so many horror franchises, why stop now, eh? Why even try and make something original.
What’s real interesting is that Illiadis, who obviously (by his last movie) is a fan of the extreme side of horror, wants the $60 million budgeted film to be a hard R-Rating. For that to have happened, star Naomi Watts must have left the project, as I don’t think she would approve of that route and it seems logical that she would drop out when her director left for pastures new.
The Birds remake has already gone through three different writers (Scott Derickson, a studio polish by Billy Ray, and Peter Craig, who was hired to do a rewrite specifically for Martin Campbell.
Another one is imminent to make it tailor made for the new helmer, likely to be high on blood and guts. Hence the R-Rating.