Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) is in talks to play the lead role in Craig Gillespie’s remake of the cult 1985 horror-comedy Fright Night. Heat Vision reports that Yelchin would play the lead character Charley Brewster, a teenager who is convinced his new neighbor is a vampire but no one will believe him. The role was originally played by William Ragsdale. The new film was written by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, Mad Men).
Yelchin is one of the best young actors out there so even those vehemently against a remake of Fright Night should acknowledge that maybe they’re going to do a good job, even if that job is–as it is with most remakes–unnecessary. Yelchin will next be seen in Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac with Emma Roberts and in Jodie Foster’s The Beaver alongside Mel Gibson. As we reported yesterday, he’ll also be one of the voices in the upcoming Smurfs movie.
Hit the jump for what producer Mike De Luca had to say about the project.
Steve interviewed De Luca this past January and here’s what the producer said about the flick:
I would tell people that I get it; that remakes are a drag to hear about. I’m on the Internet all the time. I know what they say. Like God there’s no original ideas in Hollywood. God this is going to suck. This is stupid. I can’t stand it. Why do they keep doing this? Like all the chat that happens, I get it. I understand the responsibility on the remake front of things because there are fans…you have responsibility I think to the fans of the original and you also have the responsibility to not suck even more than something original because you have so many people expecting you to suck because of the predisposed bias against remakes and stuff.
When we look at remakes, I try to limit it to in terms of criteria. You know, what about this idea is relevant to today and what could be done better than it was…maybe not better but different and different in a way that makes it exciting. And with Fright Night, again, going back to the vampire thing, with all the romantic vampire stuff going on with The Vampire Diaries and True Blood and Twilight, the most obvious. We thought it would be interesting if, in this atmosphere of the way the vampire is being portrayed right now as a romantic object, under the wire of all that in the culture the real thing moves in next door. And the real thing is a killer. Just a predator. It’s the shark from Jaws. On the outside it’s a seductive package and it looks like a human being, but it’s just about ripping your throat out and drinking your blood. And introducing that kind of vampire into the current environment and also taking advantage of the original’s brilliant structure of the boy who cried wolf. This kid, you know, this adolescent boy you’re trying to figure out what kind of man he wants to be. Product of a single-parent household-single mom. Being the man of that relationship. Being the man in his new relationship with his current girlfriend. Having an older male vampire move in next door and kind of put the moves on both the mom and girlfriend and what it does to this young man’s rite of passage from boyhood into manhood. That all felt like elements from the original that you could treat with depth almost the way Ron Moore took Battlestar Gallactica from the 70’s and gave it current gravitas.
But there are elements of Fright Night, the original, involving the transition from boyhood to manhood and the acts of a predatory older man on younger female and male characters that there’s almost like a dark, dark fairy tale quality that you could really amp up and bring to it a maturity that they couldn’t do in the 80’s. But also keeping the original film’s unique blend of like appropriate humor and scares but we wanted to have more scares than laughs. I think the original is almost 50/50 or even more laughs than scares. And I think we’re going to have appropriate dark humor and sardonic humor and sarcastic humor and erotic humor, but not tongue-in-cheek or cheesy humor but really go for some scares and some depths of character in terms of what these teenagers are going through in their lives before the vampire kind of comes in and starts taking pieces out of everybody’s lives.