An American Werewolf in London achieved cult classic status long after its 1981 release. Overall the film was well received by critics and it stands as the first film to receive an Oscar in the new (at the time) category for achievement in makeup design. Written and directed by ’80s icon, John Landis (National Lampoon’s Animal House, Trading Places, The Blues Brothers), the film fully embraces its horror-comedy roots.
John, who is also famous for having directed Michael Jackson’s Thriller, isn’t the only director in the family. His son, Max Landis, wears several hats in Hollywood, including director, screenwriter, comic scribe, and actor. Max is currently the creator/showrunner for BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, though is perhaps best known for his 2012 film Chronicle. Attached to several new projects like the live action Pokemon film and even a Pepe Le Pew movie, Max’s packed schedule just got even busier.
Rumors about An American Werewolf in London remake have been getting hotter since August, and Deadline has confirmed that the project is definitely moving forward at Universal, with Max Landis set to write and direct. However, there has been no indication that this film will be part of the Universal shared Monster-verse. Supporting Landis will be The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman and David Albert, along with producer credits for Matt Smith, Todd Garner, and John Landis himself.
The original film tells the story of two friends backpacking through the UK when they are viciously attacked, leaving one dead and the other hospitalized. While the film obviously doesn’t take itself too seriously, it has given audiences one of the most iconic transformation scenes of all time. When David (David Naughton) changes from human to werewolf for the first time, it’s a sequence that is so meticulous and well done that it’s part of of the reason the film has achieved its cult status.
Remaking something so memorable is going to be a daunting task, but Max Landis has been chomping at the bit to get his hands on this film for quite some time. He once said it’s the “only one of [his] dad’s movies [he’d] ever be willing to remake.” There was a sequel 16 years later, An American Werewolf in Paris, which flopped; and the Weinstein Company (via Dimension Films) had bought the rights and were planning a remake as recently as 2010, but the plans fell through. With Max Landis’ outlandish imagination and eye for detail, his remake could do a great service in updating a modern classic.
An American Werewolf in London does not have a release date at this time. Stay tuned to Screen Rant as we continue to bring updates on this developing project.