On Tuesday, December 13th, DreamWorks is releasing director Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night DVD / Blu-ray review here) remake, the updated spin on writer/director Tom Holland’s 1985 classic about a teenager who realizes his new neighbor is actually a vampire set on devouring his way through an unsuspecting town.
Dread Central recently caught up with Gillespie as well as writer Marti Noxon for a brief chat looking back at their experiences remaking Fright Night and heard from the pair regarding the initial internet outrage surrounding the project when it was first announced, why fans didn’t get a commentary track from Gillespie on the home release of the film and their thoughts on a potential follow-up to Fright Night.
For Noxon, she had no idea what she was in for when she came on board the Fright Night remake since previous projects involving the writer (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Glee”) usually tend to garner mostly positive reception online by fans.
“I will admit that I was nervous taking on Fright Night,” explained Noxon. “Once it was announced, it was like the internet exploded with talk on how we were going to ruin it from day one so there was always that pressure. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into at first. But then I realized that my responsibility as a writer was not to let those fears get in the way of my job so I feel like I found a balance with my love for the original Fright Night and incorporating some new elements in our retelling.”
“Our main focus was always to do what we thought was best and makes the most sense within the story while being true to the spirit of the original film, and I think Craig and everyone accomplished that,” added Noxon.
Even though scripting responsibilities were squarely on Noxon’s shoulders, the writer discussed how Gillespie helped her flesh out the character of Jerry Dandridge for the retelling. “I wrote the script, but then when Craig came on board, he really brought a ton to the project as well- especially with the character of Jerry. We really had to make sure we created a truly terrifying but also likable villain. Most of what you see in the movie was in the script- we didn’t really change things up a lot while on set. I was pretty lucky that I was able to be on set the entire time they filmed because that usually doesn’t happen, or at least for me.”
And even though Gillespie is definitely happy with the way the Fright Night remake turned out in the end, the director discussed why fans won’t be seeing a commentary track from him for this week’s DVD and Blu-ray release of the flick. “I never wanted to do a commentary track, quite honestly. I haven’t gone back and watched the film again- actually, I never go back and watch any of my films. It just feels kind of funny to me to do that- like it’s too close to home or I’m too invested in the final product. My philosophy is that I ‘give birth’ to the movies, and I let them live their own lives from there. My commentary is the movie I made, plain and simple.”
With the home release of Fright Night just right around the corner, we asked both the director and the writer about the potential of a sequel for the movie.
“It was a great time working on Fright Night, and I know I’d love to come back for a sequel,” said Noxon. “So far no one has mentioned any plans for a sequel yet- I think it’s contingent on what happens with the DVD and Blu-ray sales, but I do think there’s more stories to tell here and I hope I get to come back.”
Gillespie added, “In regards to a sequel, I think it’s a wait and see situation for DreamWorks right now, but I know I’d be happy to direct a Fright Night sequel- there are a lot of possibilities in this world. Honestly, I’d love to do something like Charley backpacking through Europe and getting mixed up with some vampires there. That could be a lot of fun. Would the sequel be in 3D? Hard to tell, but either way I’d love to come back.”
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