The horror movie genre has been full of remakes for decades, as the power of some of literature's most iconic monsters continues to give audiences nightmares. As such, we've seen countless remakes featuring similar characters, but in the case of John Landis' An American Werewolf in London, a remake has never taken quite this approach.
Landis' son Max is an accomplished filmmaker in his own right, having scripted the sci-fi superhero story Chronicle and the action-comedy American Ultra. One of Max's next projects is bringing his dad's work to life, which he aims to write in addition to direct.
With John having risen in the world of Hollywood with the likes of Steven Spielberg and working with the talents of Michael Jackson, the filmmaker was a defining visionary in the '70s and '80s. Many critics of Max have claimed he's earned his opportunities thanks to his last name. On the one hand, crafting a remake of his father's movie could be the best way to prove his detractors wrong, but on the other hand, the remake could be a symbol of him cashing in on his birthright.
"Truthfully, I’ve not seen his script. I advised him not to do it. I think he’s putting himself in a bad position," John revealed to Collider.
"My son is brilliant, he really is..."
While John might not agree with his son helming a remake of his movie, he does exhibit confidence in his son's abilities.
"My son is brilliant, he really is, and he wants to do it," Landis reveals. "So what am I going to say? No? I know it won’t be as bad as An American Werewolf In Paris, which was sh*t. So, I don’t know. He’s a great writer. He’s been writing since he was 7. He wrote a whole series of scripts about these characters called Yelp and Dopey, two dumb
As far as whether John himself will be involved in the remake, he explained, "I get money."
"An idea has no real value."
This wouldn't be the first time Landis has shared his thoughts on why doing remakes are bad ideas. Earlier this year, he spoke to Entertainment.ie about why Tom Cruise's The Mummy was going to be a disappointment.
“First of all, it’s not a new idea,” Landis stated. “If you remember with Universal back in the ’40s, once they made all their classics, they started cross-pollinating. House of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf-Man – you know what they used to call those? Monster rallies! (laugh)"
Landis added, "And then, of course, one of the great ironies is...Abbot & Costello Meets Frankenstein, which is actually a very funny movie and very respectful of the monsters. I think, y’know, maybe that’s one of the problems with Universal’s Dark Universe is that it isn’t respectful of the monsters.”
"What’s happening is the studios now will make a film for $150, $200 million but they’re afraid to take risks," Landis said of casting decisions. "You asked me about the Dark Universe, if you’re gonna make a movie of The Mummy, why the f**k do you need Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe?!"
Expanding on the casting decisions, Landis said, "As soon as you announce that Tom Cruise is in The Mummy, you know you’re not going to see a horror picture! It’s not gonna be The Mummy, it’s going to be the Tom Cruise Show. I don’t know. What no one understands, ideas are a dime a dozen. An idea has no real value. It’s all about the execution of the idea.”
"I can’t make no promises."
Max himself has been candid about his progress on the film and his dad's thoughts on the endeavor.
"We’ll see if I can do it. We’ll see if I can pull it off. We’ll see if they even make it," the filmmaker revealed to IMDb. "My goal is…I feel like all of the best remakes focus on one thing in the original movie, take a lot of the images of the original, and then remix that really tightly. With American Werewolf I’m doing that, but I’m also just gonna try and do American Werewolf as best I can. We’ll see. I can’t make no promises.”
The filmmaker also expressed that, were he to take on the project, he would be subjected to cries of nepotism and critics would be stapling his "face to a bullseye," but considering how passionate he is about the project, he didn't seem dismayed by the idea.