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selected from Shivers #59
Sisters, Psychos
Producer Ed Pressman has announced he’ll be remaking one of his earliest successes in the Horror genre. Sisters/Blood Sisters was the 1973 effort which put Brian De Palma on the map – Jennifer Salt witnesses a murder and tangles with one of two separated Siamese twins, played by Margot Kidder. (The full story is featured in Shivers #53!) Surprises, style and trademark De Palma flourishes made Sisters a box-office sleeper for AIP in America and caused De Palma and Pressman to team up again for Phantom of the Paradise. Pressman told me exclusively at the Venice Film Festival, where he was busy promoting Abel Ferrara’s New Rose Hotel, “There’s obviously a post-Scream reaction in Hollywood to the Horror film. Scream regenerated the form commercially – it’s a gold rush. I’d been thinking about remaking Sisters for years – before Scream was released. It’s not as famous as Psycho and therefore not encumbered with too much expectation. It was a drive-in movie at the time but when I looked at it again I saw how elegantly it was structured and how well it stood up as a piece of Horror entertainment. I hired a writer to revise and update it and we are talking to Roger Avary [director of Killing Zoe, co-author of Pulp Fiction] about directing.”

Sleepy Christina

Christina Ricci will star in Tim Burton’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow based on the creepy classic by Washington Irving. She plays Katrina, the love interest of Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) whose romantic life is interrupted by a headless horseman. The word is that Se7en scripter Andrew Kevin Walker has added more gore to the story. In Venice Ricci told me the script was fantastic, and she really wanted to make the film because “It’s the nearest thing us Americans have got to a proper fairy tale. You Europeans have them all!”

Polanski Problems
As we were speaking of Johnny Depp, The Ninth Gate, the supernatural thriller he’s starring in, directed by Roman Polanski, has fallen behind schedule in Paris because of unforeseen factors. Polanski’s perfectionism, and that of the director of photography Darius Khondji, and cast illness has delayed the $30 million production based on the book The Club Dumas by Spanish novelist Arturo Perez-Reverte. Depp plays an expert in rare books caught up in a supernatural conspiracy while on the trail of two demonic texts. The movie also stars Frank Langella, Lena Olin and Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner. Completion bond company International Film Guarantors have stepped in to monitor things closely but “Not a single scene will be cut as a result of this”.

Lynch Mob
Director David Lynch is making the new ABC TV movie Mulholland Drive which explores the dreams, desires and fears of two women trying to solve a mystery in LA. If it scores big ratings, ABC will convert it into a series along the lines of Lynch’s hugely popular Twin Peaks. Lynch has three features in pre-production too; Jonathan Lethem’s SF novel Amnesia Moon, Stephen Marlowe’s Lighthouse at the End of the World and Joe Lansdale’s The Big Blow.

Also in this issue's news... Emir Kusturica's White Hotel • Peter Jackson in pre-production on a full Lord of the Rings trilogy • Mark Romanek to visit the afterlife in Paradise Falls • Campbell Scott on Top of the Food Chain • and much more