It was revealed to Bloody-Disgusting today that Warner Bros. Pictures’ remake to Takashi Miike’s One Missed Call has begin shooting this past Monday in Atlanta, GA with an eye on a 2007 release. It was announced a few months back that Eric Valette would be directing off a script by Andrew Klavan, but nothing more was known about the picture, other than the story, which revolves around a college student whose friends begin receiving cell phone messages from the future in which they hear themselves being murdered. When she receives her own death message, the coed has three days to change her fate. Last night B-D has the chance to talk exclusively to writer Andrew Klavan about the film, read on for details on everything from casting to how his story differentiates from Miike’s original…
Being a fan of the Japanese original by Takashi Miike, I wanted to know what the differences might be, “Well, of course, the characters and dialogue and so on are completely Americanized,” Klavan explains, “But more important than that – as much as I love J-horror, there’s something in the Japanese storytelling style that doesn’t quite hang together to the western mind. I’ve noticed it with Japanese-based video games too: at some point, the story stops making sense and the scares and various effects become all-important. I rewrote the story so it would hang together for a US audience, so you could follow the logic of it step by step right to the end. I just think that’s a lot more satisfying in the long run.”
The original film wasn’t quite an R rated film, so should we expect a PG-13 from the remake? Klavan explains, “We had a mandate to bring it in at PG-13, but if it comes out the way we want it to, it’s going to be one hell of a scary PG-13,” Klavan continues, “The story is pretty intricate and rich, so my hope is that not only older teenagers but adults as well will be able to get a real thrill out of it… without the younger people being, you know, traumatized and scarred for life.”
Asian cinema has exploded in the past five years and the US has seen its share of remakes over that time, which remake does this compare to? “I guess `The Ring’ is the gold standard in these things and I would hope this would have the same kind of urgency and storytelling power. On the other hand, there’s a core relationship here between the two main characters that I haven’t seen before in these kinds of pictures. I’m hoping that will give it a genuinely fresh and original feel.”
Being that every single Asian horror movie is being remade, or has already been remade, we wanted to know what would separate this film from it’s original, “My specialty has always been taking the genres that I love – crime, horror and so on – and investing them with a depth of realism and character exploration that they don’t normally have. I honed that skill writing novels – True Crime, Don’t Say a Word and so on – and I’ve tried to bring it to my screenwriting work as well,” he continues, One Missed Call is a perfect case in point. What attracted me to it – and what attracted such a strong director and cast – was that it’s a story with a powerful human theme: the legacy of abuse. The heroine goes looking for answers to the horror that sort of reflect and amplify the answers she needs to find in order to handle the horror in her own life. The way I constructed it, it’s almost like watching her walk into her own nightmares. If I say so myself – and I do – I think it’s got a lot more depth and texture than most of these things.”
Klavan also has a lot of good things to say about director Eric Vallette, “I’m delighted to say he has a very strong and certain vision of what he’s trying to accomplish. He worked very hard and fought very hard to keep this from being what you might call MTV horror: big-breasted teenaged girls and muscle-bound boys jiggling and shrieking as they get bumped off one by one. Instead, Eric assembled this really talented indie-style cast, Shannyn Sossamon, Ed Burns, Azura Skye, Ray Wise – people with real faces and real acting talent. I think the idea is to make the audience feel: Hey, this is a real story happening to people I might know. Instead of: Hey, this is a lot of screechy nonsense happening to a bunch of pin-ups.”
So the question remains, can Vallette help bring us a fresh take on `One Missed Call’ next year? According to writer Andrew Klavan we’re in for quite a treat and Bloody-Disgusting couldn’t be more excited.
Visit Andrew Klavan’s official website