It was just another day until spectacularly bright meteorites tore through the sky, blinding the vast majority of Earth's population and releasing evil asparagus-like creatures bent on world domination -- it was 'The Day of the Triffids!' Originally a novel by John Wyndham and then later a 1962 Steve Sekely film, 'The Day of the Triffids' was a gem of Cold War sci-fi cinema, as British as crumpets and as frightening as... crumpets. But little Sam Raimi fell in love with it as a child, and now Deadline is reporting that the 'Drag Me to Hell' filmmaker has -- in conjunction with Mandate Pictures -- won a seven-figure bidding war for the rights to re-imagine the property. The film will be produced under the Ghost House aegis, and Raimi is supposedly intent on directing it himself.
Raimi, of course, has recently been attached to approximately 93.2% of all new Hollywood projects -- he's spread thinner than the script of 'Spider-man 3,' and it's become difficult for people to believe his involvement in anything until the blu-ray is in their hands. But Mandate has never paid this much for the rights to a property before, so you can imagine that they're pretty intent on getting this thing to the screen in a big way. You can never really be sure what you're gonna get with a Sam Raimi film (sometimes a new movie of his seems like a gift, only to turn out to be 'The Gift'), but 'Drag Me to Hell' was a ferocious crowd-pleaser and hopefully his affection for the Sekely film will bring out his best. The story might sound a touch silly (because it is), but the film endured less for its imagery than for its unexpected resonance.
Blindness narratives tend to revolve around ignorance and trust, but few have typified the relationship between the two better than the scene in the original in which the passengers of a plane are all blinded. It's a terrifying moment in and of itself, and one made all the more disconcerting by the passengers' tellingly slow realization that the pilot has naturally gone blind as well. Suddenly, the implicit trust we have in our leaders seems a bit unearned, the mutual fallibility a haunting reminder that sacrificing our individual agency is every bit as dangerous as it is convenient.
And for all of its silliness, this isn't the first time that people have been compelled to revisit the Triffids. The franchise is rather beloved across the pond, and maybe the closest thing the British have to a genuinely iconic monster. The story has been the subject of a bunch of radio plays and a 1981 BBC TV series, which the BBC updated just last year, and filled out with legendary talents like Brian Cox, Vanessa Regrave, and, um, Jason Priestly. A 3-hour, $15 million event, the miniseries was widely detested, and may have been what inspired Raimi to join the fray and bring a worldwide measure of respectability back to one of the movies that made him want to make movies in the first place.
What do you guys make of all this? Is this the kind of project in which you'd like Raimi to be involved at this point in his career? Would you have been more interested in seeing 'Harry Potter' director David Yates tackle the remake, as it's reported tht he almost did?