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Amblin weaving ‘Arachnophobia’ remake from ‘Freaky’ director Christopher Landon
James Wan’s Atomic Monster will produce the new film based on the 1990 horror-comedy hit.
Spiders are just as creepy today as they were three decades ago, which makes the eerie eight-legged pests eternally eligible for a big-screen comeback. That’s exactly what they’re about to get, too, thanks to a just-announced movie remake of the 1990 horror-comedy hit Arachnophobia.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, an updated spin on the earlier film’s story of exotic jungle spiders that bring their venomous bite to American shores is in the works from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners via Atomic Monster — the production company founded by The Conjuring and Aquaman creative mastermind James Wan,. Wan and Atomic Monster colleague Michael Clear will produce the new movie.
Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, Freaky) will reportedly sink his horror-honed fangs into the Arachnophobia remake as the new film’s writer and director. The first film’s original director, Frank Marshall (a producing veteran on the Jurassic World franchise), will reportedly return as well — this time as an executive producer.
Kicking off the 1990s as the inaugural movie under Disney’s then-new Hollywood Pictures banner, Arachnophobia deftly navigated a horror-comedy web that ensnared hapless victims when a deadly strain of spider hitches a ride from Venezuela — in a coffin, no less — after taking a lethal bite out of a visiting American nature photographer.
Jeff Daniels starred as small-town doctor Ross Jennings, whose recent move from the big city gets super-interesting (and super-deadly) once the arachnids set up shop in his barn and start breeding, killer powers fully intact, with their native eight-legged cousins. John Goodman also starred in the original film as local exterminator Delbert McClintock, part of Jennings’ wary gang of ad hoc investigators who take it on themselves to squish the menace...before the threat can go nationwide.
Landon has spun a light horror-comedy tale or two already: He’s the writing and directing mind behind 2020’s Freaky, which starred Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton in a body-swapping high school bloodfest, as well as the slasher-comedy cult hits Happy Death Day (2017) and Happy Death Day 2U (2019). Landon’s earlier writing credits also include the 2007 psychological thriller Disturbia starring Shia LaBeouf, plus multiple movies in the supernaturally scary Paranormal Activity franchise.
Amblin’s new Arachnophobia hasn’t hatched any details on casting or a release date, so we’ll keep our feelers out for additional info as it emerges from the nest.