Early Concept Art: The Gate 3D

One remake we’re looking forward to that has a really good chance of being good is Alex Winter’s redux of The Gate in 3D. If Winter can capture just a fraction of the original film’s charm then we’re pretty damned golden. Some concept art snuck online today along with a boat load of details about the film.

Winter will be working from a script penned by himself and Kerric Macdonald. Charlotte Huggins (Journey to the Center of the Earth) and Andras Hamori are producing. The legendary H.R. Giger will be designing the creatures

When best friends Miles and Terry discover a mysterious crystalline rock in Miles’s back yard, they quickly dig up the lawn in search of more. Instead, they unearth the Gate—the opening to an underground chamber containing terrifying evil.

The teenagers soon realize the horror they have unleashed, as one dire event follows another. With supernatural fiends invading suburbia, it’s up to the kids to find the secret that will lock the Gate forever…if it’s not too late.

From the Press Kit
The classic 1987 children’s fantasy, THE GATE, reopens after twenty years and this time in 3D format.

On its opening weekend, in August 1987, THE GATE outperformed ISHTAR (starring box-office giants Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty), and earned North American revenues approximately ten times its production budget. THE GATE became the most profitable Canadian movie of 1988, and as such, was awarded the Golden Reel for the highest grossing movie of the year at the 1988 Canadian Academy Awards.

Achieving extensive worldwide distribution through foreign sales distributor New Century/Vista Enterprises (the independent outlet founded by former Twentieth Century Fox topper, Norman Levy), THE GATE was not only a cult hit that audiences (and buyers) remember two decades later, but it also generated healthy international revenues.

In keeping with the original, THE GATE 3D will be a PG-13 children’s fantasy that will provide the emotional rollercoaster ride of a horror film, without the blood and guts, and without resorting to the tool shed. No sledgehammers or chainsaws will be used in this movie!

Based on Michael Nankin’s original script, THE GATE 3D is written by Kerric Macdonald. While remaining faithful to the original story and characters that proved so successful in the US and worldwide, we have updated both the script and visual effects, bringing them into line with twenty-first century sensibilities. The creatures were designed by three-time Academy Award winning FX guru Randall William Cook (The LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, KING KONG), and new creature design will be done by H.R. Giger (ALIEN, SPECIES)

Alex Winter will direct. Winter directed the psychological thriller FEVER, which the New York Times’ A.O. Scott praised as “pure Hitchcockian panic” and FREAKED, one of Entertainment Weekly’s “top ten greatest comedies of the nineties.” Winter also produced and directed Cartoon Network’s live-action movie event, BEN 10: RACE AGAINST TIME, which garnered the highest ratings in Cartoon Network history. Winter is now in production on the sequel, BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE.

Charlotte Huggins, the most prolific producer of 3-D motion pictures in the world, will act as Executive Producer. Charlotte’s latest movie, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH has so far earned over $220 million in gross box office and is still in limited release after five months.

THE GATE 3D is aimed at kids raised on THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy; it is a children’s fantasy with soul, humor, and excitement, with the underlying tension of great danger, like THE GOONIES and GREMLINS, where the kids almost get bitten, almost get swallowed by the Gate, and almost get killed by the Demon Lord, but ultimately escape with the help of ingenuity, imagination, innocence, and teamwork.

THE GATE 3D is a fun and exciting film for kids (and their families) about kids … and some cheeky and dangerous monsters.

Miles sits in his tree house – his fortress – surrounded by ammunition… well, fireworks, cherry bombs, bang snaps. It’s a veritable arsenal, and he’s tying the last fuse on his best rocket yet. His best friend Terry waits outside on the street, and soon everything is set: the bazooka is loaded, the camera rolling, and the Barbie doll perched on top of Terry’s head, about to be pulverized. The fuse lights first time and out shoots the rocket – WHOOOOOSH – STRAIGHT AT TERRY’S HEAD! Just in time, he ducks. But as they witness the disastrous trajectory of the rocket the boys are thinking that maybe Terry should have just taken the hit. The missile is taking down the neighborhood. It smashes into a car windshield, then bounces from wall to roof and back again, until suddenly it’s heading straight back at the boys! Angus, Miles’s dog, bounds into the house in utter terror. The boys dive out the way and turn in time to see it smash into a transformer – sparks fly and then the inevitable: the pole comes crashing down onto the tree house and … BOOM! The sky explodes as Miles’s arsenal detonates in the greatest, yet most under-appreciated fireworks display this suburban neighborhood has ever seen.

The back door creaks open and there stands Al, Miles’s emo-clad elder sister. She summarizes the situation with typical bite: “you guys are so busted.” Yes, this is a bad one! Miles is going to be grounded for eternity.

Actually, this might not be too far from the truth.

Miles’s Dad isn’t exactly pleased, but fortunately for Miles, he is going away for the weekend, and reluctantly leaves Al in charge. She’s a bit of a drag, but Miles can deal with her—just stay out of the way of her and her “cool” friends.

Miles explores the devastation. Beneath the uprooted stump of his old tree house, a hole shimmers with crystals. Later that night, Angus deposits one of these things on Miles’s bed. At his house, Terry immediately recognizes the glittering rock as a geode. Crystal, geode… whatever—there’s money to be made here!

The digging begins. It’s tough work for Miles and Terry—literally blood and sweat—but dreams of eBay beckon. There, on the grass, six geodes glitter in the sunlight. Still, there’s something fishy about this hole, and it’s not just the stink. There is some kind of movement beneath their feet… a buzzing… MOTHS! Thousands of them swarm out of the hole, battering the boys with their tiny wings. Perhaps Terry’s story of the workman who was buried under the tree is more than just an urban legend!

It’s evening, and there’s a party going on. Lori and Linda, Al’s dopey sidekicks, are running the show, and this is heaven: free house and cute guys, especially Eric, who seems to like Al as much as she likes him; maybe they will finally hook up. It’s not long before the Ouija board is cracked open—just to spice things up a little. The plinth spells out some gibberish, and then suddenly, out go the lights. Did they just make contact with the spirit world? No—it’s Miles and Terry goofing around. Out they jump, wearing demon masks, and the older kids get totally done—a way cool burn! An old trick, but these guys are easy prey.

But unbeknownst to Miles and Terry, outside, in the darkness, the situation is very far from cool. The hole is oozing, undulating…breathing. There is some kind of presence, and it’s moving towards the house…

Later that night, try as they might, the boys just can’t get to sleep. The day’s events prey on their minds, and pretty soon Terry is cowering under his covers trying to ignore the strange beastly creatures that seem to be dancing on the ceiling and attacking the sheets. Meanwhile, Miles, half asleep, staggers out of the bathroom and there before him stands…his long dead mother. He falls into her arms, overcome with emotion, but when he looks up, to his horror, it is no longer his mother he holds in his arms, but his dog Angus… and Angus is seriously dead.

The boys have no time to dwell on what happened last night as there is literally a storm brewing in Miles’s backyard. The hole is expanding and moaning. It throbs with some kind of malevolent life force. The boys consult the Internet to figure out what the hell is going on. All the evidence points to one thing, and it’s not good: They’ve got demons!

This is definitely something they need to take care of before the weekend is out. The boys head down to the local bookshop to do more research. The owner is one crazy old dog, but he has exactly what they want… an ancient book on demonology. They manage to sneak out some of the pages, and it soon becomes clear that their problems are far worse than they could possibly have imagined…

They have opened a gate STRAIGHT TO HELL! Moths are the least of the problems—they’ve got MINIONS, who herald the arrival of the DEMON LORD himself, and these guys like to party!

That night the basement is swarming with the little frog-like beasts. They are kind of cute—in an ugly way—but mix these creatures with beer and it’s a dangerous combination. Pretty soon they are attacking with razor-sharp teeth and claws.

Miles arms himself with a paintball gun and takes on the minions, Rambo-style. They scurry, howling, in and out of dark corners. He is able to hold them off long enough to get out of the basement more-or-less intact. They claw and scratch at the basement door as the kids force it shut.

Outside, a black tornado twists and moans over the Gate, ripping leaves from surrounding trees. Terry begins to recite the incantation that will close the Gate, as the others hold their breath, but the vortex tears the spell from his hand. The paper slaps into the grinning face of one of the garden gnomes that dot the lawn. Flames erupt from the ever-widening hole, but the boys manage to leap the crevasse. Finally the spell is in Terry’s hand, just as minions swarm from the hole, and the gnome, possessed by evil, begins clawing at his leg!

The kids retreat to the house—the spell has not been enough. The ground heaves and stretches before exploding with thousands of minions that rain down onto the earth. They are not alone: a rotting skeletal monstrosity bursts through the wall. It’s the Dead Workman! But this is just a taste of the pure evil that is to come…

The earth cleaves in two as the Demon Lord rises to the surface: a fossilized nightmare come to life. Its tentacles slither across the ground as all manner of evil beasts are disgorged from the hole and run howling into the night.

This is no video-game Miles and Terry can pause at will. This is Hell on Earth and they need to defeat it to save themselves, Al, her friends, and the world… and all before Dad gets home!

Check out the concept art below courtesy of H2oMotionPictures and look for more soon!

Early Concept Art: The Gate 3D

Early Concept Art: The Gate 3D

Early Concept Art: The Gate 3D

Early Concept Art: The Gate 3D

Uncle Creepy

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  • Chainsaw

    Alex Winter is involved. I am immediately behind this project 100%.