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The Wicker Man

I can understand why Hollywood, terrified of risk and threatened by originality, likes to bankroll proven safe concepts with built-in advertising. But remaking The Wicker Man boggles me. The original is amazingly beautiful, stark and creepy — one of my favourite movies — but it can’t possibly be well-known enough to trade on the name recognition, and the entire premise is so specific to the UK that it can’t possibly remain intact. (Judging from the car crash and CGI bees in the trailer, it doesn’t.) And while Scorcese or Cronenberg might be able to put a fresh spin on Cape Fear or The Fly, does anybody really expect anything from Neil LaBute any more? Says LaBute to the New York Times, “If ‘The Wicker Man’ is a thinking person’s horror film, that’s great.”

Apparently, Warner Brothers has just as little faith, since they’ve refused to screen the film for critics, or even for Robin Hardy, the director of the original. Hardy apparently had to bring in his lawyers to get his name removed from the promotional material. Also rather pissed off is Christopher Lee, who did the original for free and regards it as the best film of his career. Of his role in the original: “What do I think of it being played by a woman, when it was played by a man in 1972, as part of a Scottish pagan community, and now it’s played by a woman with the same name? What do I think of it? Nothing. There’s nothing to say.”

  • Link>> to NYT article abut the remake