Amazon Prime Video Reportedly Reviving Classic Horror Franchise

It's been years since we've seen anything from the Poltergeist franchise, but it's now reported that Amazon may be planning to revive the classic horror film series with Prime Video. According to Bloody Disgusting, the news was first shared by entertainment journalist Jeff Sneider during a recent episode of The Hot Mic co-hosted by John Rocha. Per Sneider, Amazon has acquired Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and aims to "prioritize" bringing Poltergeist back to life.

He noted, however, that the plans could be "complicated by the fact that [Steven] Spielberg would likely need to be involved." As fans will recall, the original '80s horror film was directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) and produced by Spielberg. "All this stuff is so up in the air," Sneider continued. "[Amazon is] still figuring out, 'What do we have here in MGM, what do we want to do with it, and how do we want to do it?'"

The first Poltergeist movie was released in 1982 and quickly became a huge success both at the box office and among film critics. The film starred Craig T. Nelson (Coach, Parenthood) and JoBeth Williams (Guiding Light, Wyatt Earp) as parents of a family tormented by malevolent spirits in their new home. Poltergeist eventually earned enough to become the eighth-highest-grossing film of the year, earning over $121 million on a budget of less than $11 million. It would go on to spawn two sequels: Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) and Poltergeist III (1988).

In 1996, the franchise returned with Poltergeist: The Legacy, a Showtime television series that had no narrative connection to the preceding films. The show ran for three seasons before being canceled by the network. It was then saved by SyFy — then known as The Sci-Fi Channel — who aired one more season. After 88 episodes across four total seasons, Poltergeist: The Legacy finally came to a conclusion in November 1999.

After years of trying to get a new Poltergeist project up and running, MGM released a remake in 2015, starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt in the lead roles. The film was a decent success financially, pulling in $95.4 million on a budget of $35 million. However, it was not near as big of a hit with critics.

Finally, the last word on the Poltergeist franchise was back in 2019 when Bloody Disgusting reported that The Russo Brothers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Endgame) were set to produce a remake/reboot. No further details ever manifested. It is unknown whether the Russos are still attached to produce a new Poltergeist film or series.