We just got off the phone with a producer (who’ll we’ll refer to as ‘SAM’ from here on out) who has been working very closely with the legendary director, Steven Spielberg, and had some interesting things to tell us… can you say remakes of DUEL and possibly JAWS?! Is this good news? I’m not quite sure just yet, but this sounds promising and I DO understand Spielberg’s logic as he makes a great case. Read on for the skinny.
Remakes are becoming more and more of a trend, and even Spielberg has thought about touching his films again. Our source tells us that the director from Cincinnati, Ohio has been talking about remaking DUEL, the 1971 TV film based on a story by Richard Matheson.
In the original film a business commuter is pursued and terrorized by a malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer, which inspired films such as JEEPERS CREEPERS and JOYRIDE.
Sam tells us that when Spielberg directed DUEL he only had 13 days to shoot it and a very small budget. Even then the director had high ambitions and couldn’t get the money and time he needed without any real resume. If Spielberg does decide to direct the remake, the budget would be a modest $60 million this time.
Sam explains that during a meeting Spielberg talked about how he isn’t against remakes, like the general public is, and that he feels if a movie is good a movie is good, remaking it has nothing to do with it.
But here’s the kicker, or the real story if you will, Spielberg has openly talked about how he wants to continue working with long time friend Tom Cruise, even if his name has been tarnished by the media. Sam writes, “Tom Cruise is one of Steven’s best friends and he think that the public will eventually get over all of the negative press created by the Scientology mumbo-jumbo,” not here’s the kicker, “if Steven doesn’t use Tom in DUEL, he will develop a remake of JAWS with Cruise.”
Get the f-ck out? A JAWS remake? Starring Tom Cruise? Sounds a little fishy (pun intended) to me. Sam did go on and explain a very good reason why Spielberg would even consider remaking JAWS. “If you remember, the shoot of JAWS was one of the worst experiences of Steven’s life,” he continues, “he couldn’t get the shark to work for the life of him. Steven has told us numerous times ‘I want the shark to work this time…’ , which is his main reason to touch his own classic.”
He also cited that Spielberg was “inspired by Lucas’ revamping of STAR WARS” and feels that there’s room for improvement on his own films. Of the long profile of films created by Spileberg, these are the movies he plans on remaking over the next 10-15 years, and not necessarily with him behind the director’s chair: JAWS, JURASSIC PARK, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and E.T. – not forgetting DUEL.
It should be noted that Sam clarifies that the only film that is officially being remade is DUEL, and that the latter films are only in talks right now.
Sam also sent us some pre-vis shots and the script to check out to confirm the validity of the project. What’s crazy is how this looks to be a real departure from vintage Speilberg films as we’re told this WILL be R-rated and that the plan is also to make ti a horror film. Spielberg tells Sam that “people hated the end of WAR OF THE WORLDS, but that (happy endings) is what most Americans want to see – with DUEL we need to make it for the horror fans and ONLY the horror fans.”
The planned release date for the film right now is to get in in theaters by April 1, 2010. Just in time for April Fool’s Day.