Hammer Films’ revival has already been successful, even if no film has yet to hit theaters. The studio not only has Let Me In arriving in theaters this October, but they also have The Resident (the Hilary Swank thriller) in the can and a remake of The Woman in Black in the works. Bloody Disgusting caught up with Simon Oakes – CEO of the revamped studio – who revealed that they have remakes of Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, Quatermass and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde in the works!
Spinning a question nicely in his favor, Oakes explains they don’t plan on remaking anything, just re-imagining.
“Almost none at all, in the sense that we would never remake. We might re-imagine,” he tells us. “You know, one of the first questions I was asked when we bought the company was, `Are you gonna remake all of those old Hammer films?” And I said, “well, why would you do that?” Because in a sense they almost were of their time. They sort of almost became old-fashioned as they came up to the end of that period of time when they were making those pictures. Because at the same time that Dracula A.D. was being made, The Omen was being made. And think about that difference in terms of style [between the old Hammer films]…and the “urban myth” movies.”
He continues by revealing that he’s got two such names in mind, “But there are the most amazing characters in here that we want to re-imagine, like Quatermass, like Kronos.”
In the 1974 Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, a master swordsman and former soldier and his hunchbacked assistant hunt vampires.
The 1955 Quatermass Xperiment follows the journeymen race to the stars encountering a mysterious cataclysm that will forever change mankind. Those who survive will be consumed by an unknown alien force hellbent on devouring the world. Earths only chance is Professor Quatermass. Don’t miss this milestone in Science Fiction cinema from the legendary House of Hammer.
Oakes continues talking about his plans for Kornos and his love for the character.
“We’re gonna do Kronos, yeah…[but] what would he be like today? What would he look like today? The great thing about him, of course, is that he’s a vampire, but not a vampire. He has all the traits of a vampire, he never ages, [but] not a vampire. So there are so many things you can do with that. So we have some characters in here that we are going to sort of reboot, and those are two of them.”
As for Quartermass, he reveals some ideas he has for a modern day version.
“Doing a new Quatermass movie, doing a new Kronos movie. You know, not remaking the same film…but saying, “what would the Kronos movie of 2011 look like, or Quatermass of 2012?” Maybe some of these characters should live in television as well, particularly Quatermass, which I’m thinking about at the moment. What I love about Quatermass is that he was the government’s chief scientist. Science is cool. Everyone’s into science, you know? So what would he be doing now? In the original Quatermass…he was sort of like a classic character, like a “Bourne” or a “Bond”, who had two masters, if you like. Both of which are trying to fuck with his head. One are his masters, which in Bourne’s case is the C.I.A., or MI-6 in Bond’s case, and [by] the same token, the enemy, they’re fucking with him. And they end up being this person who’s sort of alone.”
He continues, “And that’s what Quatermass was always like, he was always prescient. He was always ahead of his time. A lot of Tom Kneale’s [aka Nigel Kneale, the creator of the Quatermass films] work was about the damaging of the environment, and he used the alien thing as a sort of metaphor to say what we’re doing to our planet. Which is quite interesting. I met him shortly before he died – and I’m friendly with his widow – and it’s amazing…so there’s a lot of rich material in there that we can re-think. But the issues he’d be dealing with in 1957, compared to what they would be today. That’s the thing. That’s where we have to use our imagination.”
But that’s not all, expect a re-imagining of Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde as Oakes teases, “Funny you should say that. [Laughs]…my lips are sealed.”