Wes Craven told SCI FI Wire that his proposed remakes of The People Under the Stairs and Shocker still have momentum, even though Relativity Media has taken over Rogue Pictures, which signed a deal with Craven's Midnight Entertainment to develop the films. The first remake under that deal, The Last House on the Left, opens March 13, following the success of his Hills Have Eyes remake and sequel at Fox.
"I think that there is some momentum on both of them," Craven said in an exclusive interview on Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting Last House on the Left. "So there's a lot of activity right now at Midnight Entertainment on both original and remakes. We're a long way from announcements."
Midnight Entertainment is also developing a sequel to Last House and a third Hills Have Eyes. "I think we're at the point where it's now 'What's the next [project]?'" Craven said. "If there's a remake, which one of those films is it? Or a potential Hills sequel, there's a potential Last House sequel, so there's a lot of options floating right now."
The People Under the Stairs centered on a suburban house full of booby traps, where two "parents" kidnap kids to try to create the perfect Reagan-era nuclear family. When the children disappoint, they are locked in the basement, where they turn into cannibals. Shocker was the story of a serial killer who is executed only to transform into a lethal electrical being.
"People Under the Stairs and Shocker are things that they're owned by Universal, but I have control over whether they get made or not," Craven explained. "My partner in the original films, Shep Gordon, each of the three of us [Craven, Gordon and the studio] has to say yes, which we have, so it's just the beginning of the process of thinking about writers and how to approach it."
One potential film, The Waiting, which was to have been directed by Mirrors helmer Alexandre Aja, seems to be stalled. "He was interested in doing that, but then he went off and did Mirrors, and I don't know that right now that's something that he's interested in doing," Craven said. "[Producing partner] Marianne Maddalena and I had a kind of division of projects, and that became one of her projects, so I haven't been focusing on it. We kind of had a yours-mine-and-ours deal. That's something that if it's done, she'll do that."
A new version of Craven's most famous film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, is in development at Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes. Though he wrote and directed the original film and the sequel A New Nightmare, Craven does not own the rights to Freddy Krueger, and he said that he has not followed the remake's development even out of curiosity.
"I haven't, and there's been no contact," Craven said. "I mean, I know Platinum Dunes is doing that, and I heard there was a director on it, or a writer on it a couple months ago, but I haven't been following it. I don't have anything to do with it, really. I don't have any control over it, and I don't get anything from it, so I say godspeed."
Even original Freddy actor Robert Englund gave Platinum Dunes his blessing to hire a new actor. "Yeah, I don't know if he had a choice or not, but anyway," Craven joked.
Check back for more with Craven on Last House on the Left, leading up to its March 13 release.