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WB replanting ‘Bad Seed’

Classic horror pic revisited by Roth

Warner Bros. has sown a deal to remake the horror pic “The Bad Seed.”

Studio recently released the original on DVD.

“Cabin Fever” helmer Eli Roth is set to direct and Luke Janklow will produce with Strike Entertainment, whose partners Eric Newman and Marc Abraham scored a hit remake with “Dawn of the Dead.”

The original, about an 8-year-old girl who seems all sugar and spice until she begins killing people, falls neatly into the current studio horror remake frenzy.

Janklow has a family past with the original film that traces back to the founders of Warner Bros. He’s a lit agent who works at his father, Mort Janklow’s, percentery Janklow & Nesbit. His grandfather, Mervin Le Roy, directed the 1956 film and his great-grandfather was studio co-founder Harry Warner.

“Incestuous is the best way to describe it,” said Janklow, who’s making his producing debut. “After all, my grandfather directed the original, an assignment that was either approved by my great-grandfather or my great-uncle, Jack Warner.”

The original, adapted from a hit stage play by Maxwell Anderson, was one of the first to apply Freudian psychology to the psyche of a kid killer, and shocked audiences at the time, Janklow said.

But, he said, there’s a reason it was regarded as a camp classic, and favorite of the likes of director John Waters. Like most stage-to-movie transformations of its time, it featured stage-style overacting and looked stilted in its two-camera shoot format.

Roth promises a new take with a modern horror sensibility.

“The original was a great psychological thriller, and we are going to bastardize and exploit it, ramping up the body counts and killings,” said Roth. “This is going to be scary, bloody fun, and we’re going to create the next horror icon, a la Freddy, Jason and Chucky. She’s this cunning, adorable kid who loves to kill, but also loves ‘N Sync.”

Janklow said the key that unlocked the remake deal was the DVD re-release, because it put the film back on the radar of WB brass.

A writer will be hired shortly.

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