The White House doesn’t need actual ghosts to be the most frightening building in America, but Fede Alvarez is planning on cramming it full of poltergeists anyway. Alvarez, who directed the 2013 Evil Dead reboot and the 2016 thriller Don’t Breathe, will direct a yet-untitled horror film described as “The Shining set in the White House” as part of a first look deal with Legendary Pictures.
The deal was made between Legendary and Bad Hombre, Alvarez’s production company with partner Rodolfo Sayagues. The duo recently appointed Fear the Walking Dead writer and co-executive producer Shintaro Shimosawa as head of production, with two projects already underway. In addition to the White House movie, Bad Hombre is also working on a reboot of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the long-running horror franchise based on Tobe Hooper’s shocking 1974 original.
It’s hard to get jazzed about another Texas Chainsaw movie. The iconic horror film has already been rebooted once, with a litany of critically and commercially underwhelming sequels released in the past decade. That said, Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake was surprisingly good, although at this point it’s unclear how direct his involvement will be with this new Chainsaw film. But the idea of an Alvarez-helmed haunted White House film is undeniably appealing. I really need to know if a befuddled Commander in Chief will get chased through a topiary maze by an ax-wielding George Washington, or harassed by the bathtub spectre of William Howard Taft.
Neither film has a release date, but it’s interesting to note that both projects are being developed from screenplays by relatively unknown writers. Both Joe Epstein, who wrote the White House film, and Chainsaw writer Chris Thomas Devlin have had scripts featured on the Black List, an annual list of the top unproduced screenplays. Maybe Bad Hombre is looking to discover the next great horror writer, which would be a cool mission statement for DIY filmmaker like Alvarez and Sayagues, who got their big break after uploading a short film to YouTube.