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Two of this year’s most hotly anticipated horror films are David Gordon Green‘s Halloween and Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria, which is interesting because it was Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) who was initially attached to direct the Suspiria remake! That iteration dates way back to 2008, and was announced dead in 2013.
At different points, as we’ve reported in the past, Natalie Portman (prior to the similar Black Swan) and Isabelle Fuhrman were attached to star in Gordon Green’s take on Suspiria. So what happened? During our visit to the Halloween set this past February, we had a chance to talk with Gordon Green and he briefly reflected upon his unmade Suspiria remake.
“All the films from the seventies, it’s truly a decade that I geek out about,” Gordon Green told us. “Suspiria and Halloween were the two that really hit me in my youth. It was a time where I was so affected by things I was seeing and I’ve really retained them, even in my twenties, even in film school; those early teen years where everything meant so much to me. Creatively, Suspiria was a big one and Luca Guadagnino, who’s just recently directed a re-imagination of it… he hired me several years ago to write one that I was going to direct and that was very exciting. Actually I wrote it with our production sound mixer here, Chris Hubert.”
Gordon Green continued, “But the version of that was very expensive and never ended up getting made. But Luca has now taken it on and made a nice name for himself as a director. I wrote him the other day and asked him when I get to see it because I need a peek.”
What would Gordon Green’s Suspiria have been like? What we know about his aborted iteration of the remake comes entirely from past interviews. He once described his take on Dario Argento’s colorful classic as “a pretty hardcore movie,” one that would’ve been set at an all-girls boarding school rather than a ballet academy.
Gordon Green noted in an interview back in 2013, “[My Suspiria] would be very respectful of the original film. It’s like the restaging of an opera. It’s not there to take away from what exists, but to be inspired by what it is, and make something that is its own unique experience.”
He added in the same interview, “I’m just excited at the thought of making something elegant, and graphic, and classy at a point in the horror genre where everybody’s making films raw, and found-footage. I want something to contrast that. But anybody that’s interested in horror movies has no interest in that right now. At least, not with my involvement. But maybe someone else will do it.”
“I love Argento’s film and we wrote a very faithful, extremely elegant opera,” Gordon Green later mentioned in 2015. “I don’t mean musical opera, but it would be incredibly heightened music, and heightened and very operatic. Elegant sets. Isabelle Huppert was going to be in it, [and] Janet McTeer. We had an amazing cast of elegance and prestige that we were engineering for it.”
In any event, Gordon Green’s Halloween arrives on October 19, with Guadagnino’s Suspiria following in its wake on November 2. Funny how things work out sometimes!