Yes, yes. I know, I know. Yet another remake of a movie too good and too new to ever be considered for a remake. I hear your cries of "When's Hollywood going to do something original?". I echo the sentiment myself, but at this point I'm too desensitized to the grumbling, globe crossing remake factory that makes up today's industrialized American horror. Truth be told I didn't even know Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage was actively being pursued for a remake. Considering it's a fantastic, non-English language horror movie, I suppose I subconsciously assumed it was in the works.
That's why I'm none too shocked to hear official word on the remake front. I am further not surprised to see the naming of Wendigo and The Last Winter director Larry Fesseden as the new honcho calling the shots. Though the two have never collaborated on a project together, Fesseden and Guillermo del Toro, who produced the original and this newly redundant transplant, have long shared similar spots on the horror circuit. While del Toro is clearly the bigger name of the two thanks to his Hollywood side, both are known for sticking to their indie roots as directors while producing the work of others. Not to mention Fesseden has recently worked with two of del Toro's biggest regulars, Ron Perlman and Doug Jones, the latter of whom gave a great performance sans prosthetics (a rarity for the actor) in Fesseden's "Fear Itself" episode Skin and Bones.
I guess this is the best of bad news. All would be okay with the world if The Orphanage remained an untouched, unspoiled, masterful haunted house film. I'm at a loss trying to think of a replacement for its knockout lead actress, Belén Rueda, who went hand-in-hand with Bayona's classy sensibility (that night vision sequence is a white knuckle experience in threatening but never showing). Yet I confess I'm a little at ease knowing del Toro is both co-writing and co-producing the Americanization. Still, I know I'll go hoarse if I keep complaining how unnecessary it is. That goes without saying, though. No doubt I'm preaching to the anti-remake choir here.
All of this does get me wondering, though. Will The Orphanage be the first remake of a modern film to come out after the original has been spoofed by Leslie Nielsen? That's gotta be some kind of an omen not to do this thing.