“IN FEAR” director talks tackling the “CHANGELING” remake
While discussing his taut fright feature IN FEAR, now in release (see that conversation here), British director Jeremy Lovering also gave us some words on his potential next project: a new version of Peter Medak’s 1980 haunted-house classic THE CHANGELING.
Lovering recently completed his treatment for the updated CHANGELING, and tells Fango, “I’m really nervous about it, for obvious reasons. 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.”
A CHANGELING update has been in the air for some time, and Lovering notes, “There was a screenplay in existence that they had already commissioned. 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.
“It’s a tough decision,” he continues. “I mean, would you remake THE CHANGELING? It’s a tough call, and I’m not taking it lightly. You’ve gotta find that reason. I mean, LET ME IN was a good remake of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and I think Martin Scorsese’s CAPE FEAR is just as great as the first one. But why he did it, I actually don’t know. What made him decide to do a remake? Maybe I should write and ask him, because he loves THE CHANGELING so much. He might just go, ‘Are you insane?’ We shall see. If I just did it as a cut-and-paste, there’d be no point, but if I can bring it to a new audience, then maybe it could work.”