Exclusive: Andy Fickman Gives RKO Horror Update

ON

Progress on three films… plus Boy Scouts vs. Zombies!

Roughly two years ago, it was announced that producer/director Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain) and Twisted Pictures, the company responsible for the “Saw” franchise, were working with RKO Pictures chairman Ted Hartley to remake four films from the RKO horror catalog, including three early films by producer Val Lewton (The Bodysnatcher, I Walked with a Zombie and Bedlam) and John Farrow’s airplane crash survival thriller Five Came Back.

Last year, ComingSoon.net talked to Fickman and gave us the scoop that Adam Marcus (Jason Go to Hell) would be directing the first of them, I Walked With a Zombie. Since then, we haven’t heard very much about progress on either that or the other three films so when they spoke with Fickman earlier this week for his new movie You Again, they got Shock an update.

“Yeah, it got slowed down,” Fickman said about the delay in moving forward on “Zombie.” “We were very conscientious of the scripts and making sure that the material lived up to it. Just in the past four months, three of the four of them, our scripts are exactly kind of now coming into fruition. Jeff Betancourt (horror editor) has been working (with us). We’re doing readings of ‘Body Snatcher’ and a reading of ‘Five Came Back’ within the next three weeks, and we finally got them to a place where we’re ready to share and feel excited about them.”

“Adam’s still attached to (direct ‘I Walked with a Zombie’),” Fickman confirmed, “We’ve been now focusing on budget, focusing on location and focusing on design elements as well because it’s gotta stand out, be unique. Adam is such a gifted visual effects guy too and has really taken the charge in terms of the recent work he’s doing on the designs,”

Apparently, one of the stars of Fickman’s current movie may already be vying for a role in the remake of Five Came Back if and when that happens, as he told us:

“What was also interesting was when we were filming ‘You Again,’ somehow the Val Lewton movies came up. Sigourney Weaver literally just grabbed me and said, ‘You don’t understand, ‘Five Came Back’ is one of my all time favorite movies.’ She remembers every inch of ‘Five Came Back’ and was thrilled that we were doing an updated version of it. We’ve spent endless hours talking about it. I will guarantee you that we gave that information to the writers right away and said, ‘Look, nothing would make me happier than giving that script to Sigourney.’

“I think any time you do adaptations and updates from movies from the ’40s, it’s always the challenge of making sure not only are you providing something fresh, but are you still being true to the Val Lewton name,” he finally said about the ongoing development. “We never wanted to do something that was just a name only. Our touchstone for RKO and Twisted Pictures and myself and our other producers has always been. It has to be done the way Val Lewton would’ve wanted it done. I feel like we finally can look at each other and everyone say the same thing. We feel like, ‘Okay, we’re on that page now.'”

They also asked the director/producer about the recently-announced project, called Boy Scouts vs. Zombies:

“That was a script that a friend of mine, a very prolific producer, Todd Gardner, brought me this material and the writers were very fresh and exciting voice. It’s just a fun movie, and we realized it would be something different that we could put together,” he told them. “The title alone got me, but when I read the script and started working with the writers, I was sort of hooked. We’re in the process now of putting the pieces together of where the actual home of it will be, but the response has been so great, we’ve just been having a ton of fun. It’s one of those things that it’s rare that you read a script and then you literally go, ‘No, literally it is ‘Boy Scouts vs. Zombies.’ (laughs) Close your eyes and imagine boy scouts and imagine zombies and you know your movie’ and that made us all smile, so that’s always a good start.”

You can read the rest of the interview with Fickman over on ComingSoon.net later today and read what he previously told us about his plans for the RKO remakes here.

Source: Edward Douglas