You may remember a few weeks back (specifically here) we had a quick update from Jeffrey Combs on the status of House of Re-Animator, the fourth movie in the long-running franchise and the first in a proposed “final trilogy.” Basically the news wasn’t great; they’re still waiting for the money issues to be resolved before anything can move forward as well as other typical Hollywood issues.
We dropped a line to producer/director Brian Yuzna shortly after to see if we could get any more info, and he was more than willing to let us know exactly what’s going on with not just the sequel but the franchise as a whole. “We are working on getting the script to House of Re-Animator. Halcyon is organizing the financing and presales,” he told us.
He goes on to state that while we’ve only been hearing about the idea of Herbert West in the White House for a few years now, it’s actually much older than that. “The idea for West in the White House began as the concept for the first sequel, Bride of Re-Animator,” he explained. “It took place during the Reagan years and picked up directly where the first movie left off and include a re-animated Meg. In the past few years Stuart Gordon has gotten very enthusiastic about the House idea, and he and Dennis Paoli came up with a completely different version, which is funny and outrageous as well as being pretty gory.”
Though most fans enjoyed the last film, Beyond Re-Animator, for its over-the-top gore and somewhat ridiculous situations, one thing was noticeably absent: the presence of West’s long-suffering sidekick, Dan Cain. “House incorporates what to me is the most important element of a further Re-Animator story, which is resolving the conflict between Dan Cain and Herbert West,” he continued. “Bruce Abbott has been very supportive, and I think he might enjoy having Cain go mano-a-mano with West.” Oh, man, would that ever be sweet.
But that’s not all on the burner for the series. Barry Keating (a journalist for Toal Film and SFX, to name a few) is writing up a brand-new Re-Animatorcomic book adaptation: “[So far] we have seen a couple versions of the Zurich Medical School Prologue [from the artist’s auditions] and they are pretty cool. It is really difficult to decide how closely to stick with the actual movie and how much liberty to take.” This will be the first attempt to re-create the entire film, including the TV version, in comic book form; and if it does well, Yuzna has plans for further issues that would fill in a lot of gaps in the Re-Animator world.
“In the subsequent movie adaptations I think we can be a little more flexible. [We can include] what happens after the end of the first Re-An and before Bride, which would include West and Cain in the guerrilla war in Peru, as well as the Hill head being stolen and put in a circus sideshow; or between Bride and Beyond where Dan Cain testifies against West in court as well as the boy who finds the syringe.” For those adaptations, Yuzna says, both the artists and writers would have complete freedom.
Lastly, Brian tells us that a Re-Animator website is in the works (finally) that will include art from the comics as well as many other goodies fans can look forward to.
As with all things in Herbert West’s life, things take time, but hopefully the Horror Gods will smile down upon the franchise soon enough and we’ll be telling you more about all of these exciting projects! Stay tuned!
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