Remaking Carrie is a tough prospect. Even if it hadn’t been made into a classic horror film in 1976 by director Brian De Palma, you’d still be adapting a beloved book by Stephen King. However, director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) has a pretty good shot at her new adaptation by finding a new take on the material that goes further in depth regarding the relationship between abused telekinetic teenager Carrie White and her mother Margaret. The shot at successful remake becomes even higher when you have Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore playing Carrie and Maragret, respectively. At this year’s New York Comic-Con, we got our first look at Peirce’s remake, and it looks like she may have brought King’s troubled girl back from the dead with more than just an inopportune grave visit.
Hit the jump for my recap of the Carrie panel, and click here for all of our New York Comic-Con coverage. [Update: Hit the jump to see the new international poster for Carrie.]
We kick off with getting to see the first teaser trailer for Carrie. The trailer has the camera gliding down a street. First we see a burning building, then we see some burning cars, and then we see that everything on the street is burning as the camera continues to glide forward. The entire time, we’re hearing voice over from various points of view recounting a vague tragedy, with one character saying something like “It was definitely supernatural” or “It was just a small town like any other.” And then as we pull up towards a blood-drenched figure in the middle of the street, we hear a voice over line, “She wasn’t a monster. She was just a girl.” Carrie then looks straight at the camera, and then they cut to the title. It’s a pretty solid teaser trailer, and hopefully it will be online soon.
After the teaser, Peirce comes on stage with Moretz, Moore, and producer Kevin Misher came on stage. Misher explains that they went back to the book and were able to utilize the level of destruction that’s in the novel, so there’s more of it than there was in De Palma’s film. The technology allowed them to do more, but they didn’t do effects just to do them.
Moretz says being drenched in blood was fun for the first couple of weeks, but after a while it became sticky and wet and it was 40-degrees outside. They also had “wet blood”, “dry blood”, “fire blood”, etc. She eventually just got used to walking around blood-drenched.
Moore says she found Margaret was rooted in “social isolation”. There’s a ton of back story in the novel, but it all boils down to Carrie being Margaret’s only community. To better hone the relationship between Carrie and Margaret, Moretz and Moore had to have safe, comfortable relationship off-screen so then there could be the trust to do some of the more daring on-screen stunts.
Looking back at the 1976 film, Peirce says she talked with De Palma at the beginning of filming, and said he was supportive. As for Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie‘s performances in the original, Moore says that she was excited about working with Moretz because Moretz is actually a teenager while Spacek was 26 when she made the original Carrie. As far as comparisons to the original film, Moretz says they just have to be secure about what they’re putting on screen and treat it like any other movie. “You just have to be completely confident in what you’re doing or else you’ll tear yourself apart.” Peirce says the two movies can exist as two, equally great things, but their mother-daughter relationship is profound, and the heart-and-soul of the remake.
Back to the blood, there was 3-4 months of R&D for thickness, height, and other tests to make sure they got it right. Also, you might miss the blood dump because it’s difficult to aim. “And no pigs were harmed in the making of this movie,” jokes Misher. Peirce continues that they were constantly asking “How much blood is too much blood?” Moretz remembers being covered head-to-toe in blood, going to Peirce, and Peirce saying, “Needs more blood.”
Notes from the Q&A:
- Moretz says her movies tend to fall into a darker genre because those are the films she finds challenging and different from her happy everyday life.
- When it comes to bullying, there’s a wider awareness now than when the book or the original film came out, so in some of the scenes, the teachers make note of what’s happening to Carrie. Peirce also says there’s some cyberbullying in the film, but she wouldn’t go into spoilers. However, they wanted to makes sure the story came first rather than push an issue forward. Moore adds that they’re not making a polemic, but they are going to reflect something that does happen in society.
- Moore remembers that at the first read-through and being so excited at the read-through between Moertz and co-star Ansel Elgort, who plays Carrie’s love interest Tommy Ross.
- Misher adds that this is a movie about teenagers, so while there’s an adult audience who reveres the original, today’s teens will hopefully connect with the remake.
- The panel ended with the audience being encouraged to call Carrie at 207-404-2604 as part of a viral campaign.
Carrie opens March 15, 2013. Click the new international poster below to view in hi-def (via Dark Horizons).