'Massacre' team to work on remake of '79 hit
Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller have been tapped by MGM to mount a remake of the 1979 hit “The Amityville Horror.”
The Jay Anson book on which “Horror” was based purported that the residents of a tree-lined home in a Long Island suburb were terrorized by a haunted house. The home had been inhabited previously by a disturbed young man who murdered his family. The story was widely criticized as being fake.
The film was a huge hit, one that hatched seven sequels. Subsequent owners of the actual house, in fact, were haunted by cars that would line the street as tourists strained to get a look at the house.
Bay, who’ll produce with Form and Fuller, thinks the famous house is ready to be haunted by Hollywood once again. Ted Field and Scott Kroopf will exec produce.
Bay formed Platinum Dunes to hatch genre fare and give directing opportunities to video and commercials directors he has worked with.
The company, which has a deal with Radar Pictures, has been courted by studios after the success of its Marcus Nispel-directed “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
Bay said the New Line film cost $9.2 million, and last weekend it scared up an opening gross three times its negative cost.
“The philosophy of the company is to tap first-timers who have directed in other mediums and have set experience and savvy,” Bay said. “We will do ‘Amityville Horror’ as a negative pickup because we want these to hold a low enough risk where we can retain total creative control.
“Platinum Dunes called all the creative shots with Marcus; there was nobody else involved,” he added. “I was very comfortable helping Marcus with ‘Texas’ while I directed ‘Bad Boys 2.’ We don’t want to do too many of these too quickly, but studios have been circling and we’ve been poring through their libraries, looking for properties that fit.”
Bay said Platinum Dunes is firming other projects, but it doesn’t look like a sequel to its current hit will happen.
“We’ve heard from the rights holders on ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ that they want what Hillary Clinton earned for writing her book,” Bay said. “That simply isn’t worth it to us.”