Horror fandom is a rich, diverse and sometimes mysterious place. Encompassing slasher fans, cosmic horror fans, trauma horror fans, torture porn fans, J-horror fans, creature and/or monster kids, folk horror nerds, vampire nerds, found footage enthusiasts, the "liminal horror" crew, and - according to the Discourse we've seen this week - even "cozy horror" fans (don't ask, I didn't investigate). And that's just tip of the iceberg stuff! Horror fandom is as varied as the genre itself; what one person avoids, another subsection of the horror community is certain to consider treasure.
All of which is to say, today is a day for Leprechaun fans. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate is moving forward on a new installment in the long-running franchise (did you know there have been eight Leprechaun movies?), and they've even locked in a director and screenwriter to get the job done.
"Leprechaun, the longest-running franchise in Lionsgate history, will get a fresh start as the studio reimagines the horror title for a new generation of moviegoers. Felipe Vargas, helmer of the award-wining short film Milk Teeth, will direct the new feature project that has a script by Mike Van Waes, who worked on the live-action Lilo & Stitch movie that is now in production."
THR goes on to mention that Roy Lee, one of the most successful (and busy!) horror producers in the game, will produce via Vertigo Entertainment, alongside Miri Yoon. As of this writing, there's no word on what sorta story this particular Leprechaun movie might end up telling, but Erin Westerman, president of production for Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, sounds very excited about whatever Vargas, Waes and Vertigo are up to:
“Thirty years after its debut, this franchise still casts a spell, and we’re thrilled to be bringing it back with a new vision. Roy and Miri are two of our most trusted producers, especially with this genre, and we’re excited by Felipe’s vision for the film as a director. In his hands, this movie should be very scary and a ton of fun.”
Vargas, meanwhile, is best known for the short film Milk Teeth, which made the film festival rounds a year or two back. If you never caught Milk Teeth, here - I've helpfully embedded it for you below. It's definitely worth checking out!
As you might expect, we have a million questions about the new Leprechaun. Are they gonna lean into the inherent absurdity of the franchise? Will this be a soft reboot, maybe one that leans more towards the dark, gritty, and horrific? Who's gonna play the titular gold hoarder? For now, we have no answers to these questions, but consider our curiosity piqued. We'll keep you informed as further updates on the new Leprechaun roll in.