If you have not seen Jeremy Lovering’s superb British backwoods horror, In Fear, then I suggest you correct that ASAP. As a directorial debut, the film is astonishing, and delivers nail biting suspense and strangling tension. The thought of the director moving ahead so soon with his next feature has me very excited, and while I am not normally one for remakes, Lovering directing The Changeling sounds like a great idea!
In an interview with Fangoria, Lovering explained that he has already written the treatment for the remake, and is naturally quite nervous about making it:
“I’m really nervous about it, for obvious reasons,” he told Fangoria. “The original is an extraordinarily good film, and I’ve tried to take a kind of alternative point of view—doing the scenes you don’t see, the ones in between those that are in the film. THE CHANGELING has such iconic, much-copied sequences, and obviously loads of directors, from James Wan to [THE WOMAN IN BLACK’s] James Watkins and a whole bunch of others, happily acknowledge THE CHANGELING as a massively influential film. It’s the same producers [as the original] who want to make it, and it has been a very interesting process, but I’m still trying to decide whether it’s the right thing to do or not.”
Lovering says he wrote the treatment after being approached about directing the film based on someone else’s script, which he wasn’t so keen on doing.
“There was a screenplay in existence that they had already commissioned,” said the British filmmaker. “They sent me that draft and it’s very well-written, but it’s not the film I want to make. THE CHANGELING is one of the few movies that genuinely scared me, and it still does, so I didn’t want to touch it at first. But then I started conversations with them and told them I didn’t feel the script. I want to re-engage with it in a different way, and they told me to go write my own screenplay. I was like, ‘I’ll just write a treatment because I don’t know if it’s gonna work for me,’ and I literally delivered it the other day.”
Knowing that like for like remakes generally cause anger, Lovering is approaching The Changeling in a positive way, a way that just might please fans:
“If I just did it as a cut-and-paste, there’d be no point,” he says, “but if I can bring it to a new audience, then maybe it could work.”
The 1980 original was directed by Peter Medak and starred George C. Scott. Here’s the synopsis for the creepy original:
It was the perfect family vacation for composer John Russell and his family when a freak automobile accident claims the lives of his wife and daughter. Consumed by grief, John, at the request of friends, rents an old turn of the century house. Mammoth in size, the house seems all the room that John needs to write music and reflect. He does not realize that he is not alone in the house. He shares it with the spirit of a murdered child who has homed in on John’s despair and uses him to uncover decades of silence and deceit. With the help of Claire Norman, the one who aided John in procuring the house, they race to find the answers and soon learn that a devious and very powerful man guards them.