David Fincher directing a full-on horror film?
Sign me up now.
David Fincher reuniting with the screenwriter of “Se7en” to update a flawed but fascinating ’70s relic?
I’m sooooo onboard.
In fact, there’s nothing about the news that David Fincher is considering directing a new version of “The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud” that is anything less than exciting to me. Fincher gives good creepy. Fact.
Sure, it’s another remake, and I’m as weary of those as everyone else, but this isn’t just some hack knocking out yet another ’80s slasher update because he’s convinced there’s a market for it. Fincher is one of those guys who has long since proven that he’ll tell the stories he wants to tell, and he’ll tell them his way. He’s not just going to take any gig at this point in his career. He’s able to pick and choose, and the best scripts in town end up on his desk.
So when he says there’s a reason to remake “The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud,” I would tend to take him seriously. I have two distinct memories of the story. I read Max Ehrlich’s book first, because my mom had it in the house. They never would have taken me to see a horror film at that age. I was five when the film came out. The book was just one of many in the stacks around the house, and I was a precocious reader, so it was only a few years later that I was pillaging the stacks specifically for horror or otherwise forbidden materials. I remember the book disturbing me, really working on me.
When I saw the film, it was much later, when my parents co-owned a video store and we were getting in boxes of movies at the house. I watched many things I probably should not have, and “Peter Proud” was one of them. Even young, though, I felt like the film was a dud. Soppy. Cheesy instead of scary. It didn’t really get at the horror of having someone else inside of you, someone else’s memories rattling around inside you. I’m not even sure I’d call the original film a horror film. It’s creepy, sort of, but it’s far more concerned with the mystery of it all.
Fincher can bring the creepy. No doubt about it. In this case, I’d say “Peter Proud” will depend on casting. He has to find a guy who can do good haunted. He has a pretty fantastic sense of casting in all his films, so I’m sure this is one he’ll get right. That’s a long way off, though. Fincher’s making “The Social Network” next, the story of the development of Facebook as told by Aaron Sorkin, and in the meantime, he’s got Andrew Kevin Walker working from the source material to develop his film.
In the story, a college professor starts dreaming about another man’s death, about details from someone else’s life, about women he has never met. It becomes an obsession, and his girlfriend helps him track down clues from these dreams that lead to a real-life murder mystery. The title robs the piece of much of its mystery, of course, which has always been one of the most confusing things about it. But this was post-“Exorcist,” and the notion of being afraid of losing yourself was a big one.
This would make two films in a row at Columbia for Fincher if it gets made after “The Social Network,” and this one would be produced by Mike De Luca, the former New Line exec who was, of course, one of the major supporters of “Se7en” at the studio.
I’ll definitely be paying attention as development on this one continues. Boris Kit originally broke the story at The Hollywood Reporter.
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