We caught up recently with I Spit on Your Grave star Sarah Butler, director Steven R. Monroe and producer Lisa Hansen, who weighed in on the status of a potential sequel to their 2010 redux as well as on the alternate ending to the which remake audiences didn’t see! Read on.
“We are thinking about it,” CineTel Films producer Hansen confirmed for us of a follow-up to filmmaker Monroe’s 2010 gut punch of a remake of Meir Zarchi’s original 1978 rape-revenge film. “The movie didn’t do well theatrically, but it did do really well on DVD so we are considering it, but until we have a really concrete story that we believe will work and which will deliver to the audience and not be a sell-out, we won’t be going into production. We just aren’t there yet.”
Catching up with director Monroe, who’s busy shooting an unrelated project in Canada, the filmmaker stated of his potential involvement in helming the follow-up to I Spit on Your Grave (review here) (hereafter ISOYG): “There has been discussion with me, but (at present) that is it. It will certainly be a complex one to do a sequel on.”
ISOYG star Sarah Butler, who played the victim-turned-avenger ‘Jennifer Hills’ to great effect in the remake, expressed her interest, too, in revisiting the material when we chatted with her and also delved into what audiences didn’t see in the redux.
“In the original script that I read, the ending found Jennifer back in the city,” revealed Butler, who recently wrapped her role in the psychological thriller The Stranger Inside, of ISOYG, “and that was in the script until probably a couple of days before we started shooting, and then they scrapped it. The whole film was actually book-ended with two scenes which took place in the city, and those were scenes between Jennifer and her literary agent.”
“The first one was just kind of exposition,” Butler continued. “It was Jennifer telling her agent that she was going to go work on her next novel in the woods, and I think that scene was somewhat unnecessary because obviously we find out in a matter of minutes that that was what was going to happen because it does happen.”
Here’s where things become interesting.
“At the very end there was another scene where Jennifer is having another meeting with her agent,” revealed Butler, “where she has previously presented her with a manuscript which she’s read, and they are having a meeting to talk about it. Over the course of the scene you realize that the book Jennifer has written is a true account of her ordeal and everything which she went through. So it kind of ended with the agent taking a phone call or something and being distracted for a moment, and she’s on the phone praising Jennifer saying, ‘Oh wow, this novel will just shock people, and this will really make her as a writer because it’s so mysterious and crazy,’ and that’s when Jennifer puts down Sheriff Storch’s badge on top of the manuscript and leaves and walks down the street. When the agent comes back from her phone call, she sees the badge and is shocked (as she realizes that the manuscript isn’t one of fiction).”
It doesn’t end there.
“The very last little bit was Jennifer walking into her apartment, and in the manuscript it was completely covered in white plastic from floor to ceiling,” Butler communicated, “and there was a man tied up and hanging from the ceiling, and Jennifer said something like, ‘Honey, I’m home.’”
As for why these scenes weren’t filmed, Butler said, “I honestly think that it was a question of budget as to why we didn’t shoot them because it would have required another few days to shoot in New York City. They were even trying to make it happen in New Orleans or downtown Shreveport where we were shooting and make it look like New York somehow, but the extra days of shooting would have really bumped the budget up, and so I think initially it was a money decision.”
“In the end, though, I think it’s good (that it wasn’t shot) because it kept the film so much more true, which was important for us in order to retain the fans from the original,” the actress concluded. “Also it seemed like a little cheesy to me, the ‘one-liner’ thing. I mean it could have been played fine, and I could have made it work I am sure, but I am glad that it ended up the way it did. The ending as it is has so much more punch to it, with just having that last shot of Jennifer bringing up that little smile as she listened to Sheriff Storch die.”
Director Monroe concurred.
“Regarding the (alternate) ending scene,” stated the filmmaker, “it was cut before shooting and never really fully written. There was no real meaning or intention with cutting it. It was something that was on the plate that we just didn’t go with, and I love that the remake ends with a mirror to the original. With Jennifer and what appears to be some kind of a smile.”
As for other future CineTel Films horror projects, Hansen teased, “We’ve got scripts in development and I think one that is going to go into production probably late summer would be my guess. It’s a really good script, and I think it will be really good film.”
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