Before you get too bent out of shape, bear in mind this information is purely hypothetical, and comes from a recent conversation from Shudder’s original podcast Visitations with Elijah Wood & Daniel Noah, in which the co-founders of indie film company SpectreVision shared five “Dream Projects” they’ve fantasized about producing.
Some, most or all of these projects will never come to pass — for example, a film starring the late, great Christopher Lee we would have been first in line to watch — but it’s a fascinating peek into some intriguing “what if” concepts from the team behind Mandy, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Daniel Isn’t Real and many other unique genre visions that defy easy categorization.
Visitations concluded its current season with a two-part special, which included an interview with genre master Guillermo del Toro, who provided the hosts a tour of his home (which is basically a walk-through recreation of del Toro’s imagination). That’s reason enough to check out the podcast, but when the conversation turned to films that Wood and Noah would have loved to produce and/or release through SpectreVision, they entered a zone that could definitely polarize Freddy fans… that is, if they seriously consider moving forward with the idea.
Here’s an excerpt from that conversation, as spotlighted on Coming Soon:
“We have long fantasized having a crack at A Nightmare on Elm Street,” said Noah. “So has Adam Egypt Mortimer, who we just made Daniel Isn’t Real with. That film and Elm Street have somewhat obscure but still tangible similarities of dream worlds. As people have been seeing Daniel Isn’t Real, interestingly, there’s been a little movement on Twitter for Adam Mortimer to take over Nightmare on Elm Street. We’ve made no secret. We’ve been in touch with the rights holders many times. It’s a real dream project for us to have a chance to make a film in that franchise.”
“It’s a universe and a character and an idea that would be a fun sandbox to play in,” Wood added. “With a lot of these classic horror films that have seen so many sequels, eventually it sort of plays itself out a little bit. It’s also interesting to think about what could we do with a franchise like that which reinvents itself or creates something that is playing with the tone and key of the franchise, but is doing it differently or taking it in a slightly new direction.”
“There’s also an understandable aversion to stirring the pot too much with a formula that’s been successful,” Noah said. “John Carpenter’s original conception of the Halloween franchise was that every year, there would be a new Halloween story. He never intended for like a [Michael] Myers return, and when the studio kind of forced that as a sequel, he was able to finally come back around with Season of the Witch, which we think is an incredible Halloween film. [But] fans were extremely confused and angry because they had established this expectation of Halloween is Michael Myers. I think it’s understandable. You don’t want to shake up a formula that’s working. But on the flipside, when you’re just repeating the same formula, it’s kind of diminishing returns. They already did that well, is our point of view. That’s been handled. What are other avenues, what are other neighborhoods in this world that can be used or investigated?”
Other dream projects listed by the SpectreVision team include the aforementioned Christopher Lee project; a feature trilogy based on Craig William Macneill’s 2015 film The Boy (not to be confused with the 2016 film about Brahms, the mysterious doll); an occult feature initiated by legendary filmmaker Luis Buñuel before his death and rekindled by genre pioneer Àlex de la Iglesia (The Day of the Beast, Witching and Bitching); and a film or TV series based on Mark Danielewski’s world-renowned novel House of Leaves, which major studios likely would have considered unfilmable.