CATEGORIES Foreign Language, Horror, Independent, Thrillers, Deals, New Line, Warner Brothers, DIY/Filmmaking, Newsstand, Remakes and Sequels, Movie News, CinematicalPlans for an English-language remake of The Orphanage have been ongoing since 2007. If you were thinking that Juan Antonio Bayona's original earned enough attention for those plans to be shelved, guess again. According to Variety, The Orphanage remix is still on at New Line / Warner Bros, and now has a director in Mark Pellington.
Pellington's resume is a mixed bag, ranging from U2 3D to The Mothman Prophecies, which I haven't seen. I do have very fond memories of being good and scared by Arlington Road though, but I'm not sure it's the same kind of scare as that delivered by Bayona's Orphanage. On the other hand, Guillermo del Toro is still on board as producer, so we have to assume he believes Pellington can deliver the chill.
Even if this does have del Toro's blessing (he not only produced the original, but has trained Bayona up as one of his successors in eerie Spanish filmmaking), I still wonder why a remake is really necessary. The film is readily available -- it's on Netflix Instant as we speak -- and Bayona has become a pretty popular name. He was even bandied about as an inheritor of the Twilight franchise. Can't it just be left as his calling card? It strikes me as a bit of a slap in the face to take a director's debut film and promptly remake it in an American and unsubtitled image. But perhaps it's meant to be a big compliment, and Bayona is onto such bigger and better things that he doesn't particularly care.