David Gordon Green Says His Horror Remake Of 'Suspiria' Is Hopefully Next

by Gabe Toro
March 28, 2011 4:55 AM
13 Comments
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Confirms Natalie Portman Was Once In Talks, But The Filmmaker Is Now Looking To Cast An Unknown



Exclusive: Filmmaker David Gordon Green is a busy guy. He's got both "Your Highness" and "The Sitter" hitting this year, and he's moving into television, with "Good Vibes" on MTV, and "Black Jack" at Comedy Central. Beyond that, his long-rumored remake of "Suspiria" looks like it will be next on his feature-film horizon. We spoke to Green in regards to "Your Highness" this weekend, which opens a week from Friday (April 8), and got the story on old school horror fans' most anticipated remake.

"I'm hopefully going to get into a horror film, ['Suspiria'] next. That's the goal," Green said about lining up the remake of the Dario Argento psych-horror classic as his next feature once he's done directing the pilot to "Black Jack" next month.

"It's an idea that came to me three years ago," Green said, speaking of the script's lengthy incubation process which he co-wrote with his sound-designer, which of course offered a completely new perspective as well. "That was an enlightening process. [Our 'Suspiria'] doesn't follow the trend of the traditional horror movies of late, so it's a leap of faith, financially." He also says that there won't be many key differences, stating, "It's actually very faithful. I'm gonna put my spin on it, but in terms of a pitch, it's going to remain quite faithful to [the original]."

In the early days of the project, Natalie Portman was linked to the role, and while Green confirms those talks were real, it appears that ship has sailed. "We've been talking about it, then she decided to do 'Black Swan,' " Green said, noting that Portman eventually shot "Your Highness" before moving onto "Black Swan." As a result, don't expect to recognize most of the cast. "I want an unknown cast, and I think she's a little too old for it. My version isn't necessarily about ballet, it's more of an all-girls boarding school, so I think she's probably too old to pass for a high school-er. I don't think it will have names, but hopefully it will be at a studio. Because I definitely enjoy having a movie that gets marketed that people go to see."

"But there's no greater passport. 'Suspiria' is a great reason to move to Germany, hang out there for awhile, discover some new European cast members, find something scary," Green explained, noting the line separating his comedies and something a bit more horrific is fairly thin. "There's a lot of times where I'm sitting in the sound booth, thinking, 'God, this is amazing.' We could turn this into some 'Eraserhead' shit, and then I'll realize, 'oh, wait, this is a comedy. I can't do that.' "

As for his other projects, it does appear that Green has evolved from making smaller indie pictures to big studio comedies. But it wasn't planned that way, as Green intended to move in another direction after his stoner medieval film. "After 'Your Highness' I wanted to do a character piece," Green claims, something that probably excites fans of his earlier work. "I love working with kids, and I love working in New York City, so I literally had those guidelines. Character piece with kids in New York City -- and I don't want it to be a comedy. But then the script to 'The Sitter' showed up, and I was like, 'okay, this is funny as shit.' It's got some great dramatic scenes. And it reminds me a lot of 'Risky Business' and a lot of those types of movies I liked when I was a kid."

This year you'll get a double dose of David Gordon Green. "Your Highness" on April 8 -- which you must see to believe how awesomely absurd it is -- and "The Sitter" on December 9th. Much more from this interview soon. The trailer for the original "Suspiria" is below. -- Reporting by RP.

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13 Comments

  • Dave | March 30, 2011 12:58 PMReply

    unless they use the original score, this movie will be useless. to be, suspiria is defined by two things:
    1. argento's garish color schemes and set design
    2. Goblin's score

    and not in that order. beyond those two things, there's not a lot going on with the film, frankly

  • lord jim | March 30, 2011 11:59 AMReply

    remaking suspiria?are you f..king crazy?suspiria doesn´t even have a proper storyline to remake (merely a surrealistic excuse for one ), it´s a piece of art.
    i´m looking forward for someone to repaint the mona lisa.and why isn´t anybody rewriting books, i mean moby dick could use some helicopters.
    bastard!

  • trout | March 29, 2011 12:32 PMReply

    Not to mention the irreplaceable Jessica Harper.
    Amazing that G. del Toro cannot get the dough to make 'At the Mountains of Madness' but this guy can get the dough to remake an old cult movie.
    When's Rob Zombie gonna do 'Phantom of the Paradise'?
    Without the irreplaceable Jessica Harper of course.

  • John Weddell | March 29, 2011 9:24 AMReply

    The original was so idiosyncratic, it's idiotic remaking it. It's like somebody remaking Mulholland Drive or L'Age D'or- you know, something very personal, and that was only possible because of who its creator is. I'm sure this guy has his own ideas on horror films, why not do something original?
    I'm being naive, I know.

  • Tony | March 29, 2011 6:25 AMReply

    Suspiria is one of my favorite movies of all time and honestly, who cares is it's being remade. What isn't being remade nowadays. I'm at least thankful it won't be a Michael Bay production. Yeah, and no shit it won't use the old technicolor process.

  • Vince Pilutis | March 29, 2011 3:22 AMReply

    The first one was the last film to use the old Tecnicolor process no way can that be done again.

  • rocco siffredi | March 28, 2011 11:57 AMReply

    This guy has a career of diminishing returns. Undertow was ace. Your Highness trailer looks awful.

  • Matt | March 28, 2011 8:16 AMReply

    I for one absolutely lit up when I read the headline. I've been hoping that this film would happen for the either two or three years when I first heard of Gordon Green wanting to do it. But I'm also not indiscriminately and blindly against remakes.

    An original film is never "ruined" or soiled by a remake in my view. And a remake is also not always purely about a studio trying to cash in on an idea. This is an interpretation of a film that has been one of my favorites for years, from a director who I am also a great fan of.

    This is quite different from "[Studio] sets forth on Suspiria Remake! Numerous writers and directors in the running!" -- something that probably wouldn't instill much hope of something of a lot of artistic merit; just something that a studio wants people to be excited about simply based on name recognition. Two very different situations. In either case, the original is still just as much in existence.

  • Rashad | March 28, 2011 6:51 AMReply

    You people can't be serious. Suspiria was a piece of shit. I can't believe someone used the poor Italian dubbing as a positive.

  • Jamie C | March 28, 2011 6:49 AMReply

    I'll sign a "fuck gordon green's hollywood films, bring back his George Washington sensibilities" petition.

    Seriously, a Suspiria remake? Jesus.

  • Kathleen Walsh | March 28, 2011 6:29 AMReply

    I will co-sign this "No Suspiria Remake" petition.

  • Rach | March 28, 2011 6:28 AMReply

    I agree, Suspiria was perfect . Leave it alone.

  • Tristan eldritch | March 28, 2011 5:46 AMReply

    A Suspiria remake almost certainly can't work. The original had:
    a) career highlight soundtrack by a genius prog band
    b) a visionary, bonkers director at the height of his powers
    c) some of the last ever three strip technicolor processing
    d) the weird, unintentionally apt and surreal effects of Italian pop cinema dubbing.
    It was the product of a very specific time, milieu, and a uniquely unhinged cinematic brain. Hard to see a contemporary remake working.

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