Shout! Factory, the media company behind programs like the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot on Netflix and the slasher film Fender Bender, just picked up the rights to a ton of Roger Corman movies. At 91-years-old, Corman is a living Hollywood legend, famous for his sci-fi and horror B-movies of the 1950s, '60s, and even '70s.
From It Conquered the World in 1956 and Not of This Earth in 1957, to Deathsport and Piranha in 1978, the director/producer/actor gained the nickname "King of the B's" for helping shape this genre that still endures today. While these movies can be shlocky and campy at times, they're still enjoyable classics.
According to an official release from Shout! the company has purchased the rights to over 270 out of Corman's more than 360 films for an unknown amount of money. These can now be turned into remakes, reboots, TV shows, merchandising or a simply good roast on MST3K. There's really no limit to how they can spin these properties. Among the titles bought are: Rock‘N’Roll High School, Battle Beyond the Stars, Piranha, Galaxy of Terror, Bloodfist, Black Scorpion, Eat My Dust!, Humanoids from the Deep, Slumber Party Massacre, and Forbidden World.
“We’ve been huge fans of the Cormans. Their great ingenuity and independent spirit have inspired us throughout our careers. We’ve loved working with them over the last 8 years and are thrilled to now be the custodians of these beloved films, making sure that film buffs and fans everywhere discover them like we did,” stated Shout! Factory’s founders in a joint statement.
Corman helped a ton of actors and directors get their big breaks in Hollywood like Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Charles Bronson, Dennis Hopper, Talia Shire, Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro, David Carradine, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante, John Sayles, and James Cameron. In fact, Cameron's first feature film was a sequel to the Corman-produced Piranha. Yes, the man who helped changed the face of cinematic science fiction, the filmmaker whose projects have made billions of dollars got his start with Piranha II: The Spawning in 1982, which now holds a 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
"During the past decade our personal and professional relationships with Shout! Factory's Bob Emmer, Richard and Garson Foos, and Ace Film's Henry Luk and Adam Yuchen Ren have shown us that their independent, entrepreneurial spirit, respect for our work and creative methods of distribution and production make them especially well-suited to carry on with the New Horizons film library," stated Roger and Julie Corman on the deal.
One notorious factoid about Corman is that he produced an absolutely terrible Fantastic Four movie in the '90s, which was never released. It has been parodied in Arrested Development and explored in the documentary Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four. Joe Dante (Gremlins, Innerspace) is attached to a biopic about Corman's life, currently titled The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes.