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John Landis Says Fox Doesn't Love Max Landis' 'Chronicle 2' Script, His Paris-Set Monster Movie Is Dead For Now & Talks Hardships Of 'American Werewolf'

The Playlist By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist October 10, 2012 at 4:16PM

While much has been said about Universal Studios not having a standout year at the box office, or at least one befitting of the landmark studio's 100th Anniversary this year, you’d barely be able to tell by the rate at which they’re celebrating. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has played a large part in this celebration, running a repertory screening series entitled “Universal’s Legacy of Horror,” which kicked off last week in Los Angeles with a Guillermo Del Toro hosted double bill of “Bride of Frankenstein” and the Bela Lugosi-starring “Dracula.” Last night AMPAS played the classic 1941 tale “The Wolfman” with Lon Chaney, along with the most recent film playing in the series – “Animal House” writer-director John Landis’ “An American Werewolf in London.”
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Chronicle Max Landis

As for his follow-up to ‘Burke & Hare,’ which was set to be a Paris-set monster movie (no, not a remake of “An American Werewolf in Paris"), Landis says that’s out of the cards for now: “A French producer paid me to write a horror script I liked very much. He read it and said ‘What the fuck is this?’ He was shocked by it. He wanted changes that I refused to make, so I gave him the money back, so I own it. So I don’t know if I can get anyone else to give me the money, everyone wants the same thing.”

Landis even went as far as to compare his plight with his son Max Landis, who is currently working on several gestating projects after his hit superhero flick “Chronicle” earlier this year. One of those project is “Chronicle 2” for Fox, which Landis says, “He wrote a sequel, and it’s amazing, and the studio read it and said, ‘We want ‘Chronicle’ again!’ And he said, ‘No, this is the sequel, it’s the evolution, and they said ‘No, we want that movie again!’ So it’s difficult, we’re dealing with a difficult business.’

Baker also has a very strong to tie to both Landis and 'Werewolf,' but it was the fact that Baker was the first make-up artist to win an Oscar for 'Werewolf' when the film finally released in 1982 (a category seemingly invented that year to solely honor the work he did on the werewolf transformation scene) that really shocked him. Baker told us, “So many people say about winning an Oscar, that it’s such a surreal moment. It was surreal. First of all, I couldn’t believe I was nominated, especially for a horror movie -- and a particularly gory horror movie at that. Second of all, I didn’t really think it was Academy-friendly, so I thought ‘It’s just an honor to be nominated.’” Baker was particularly happy to have his Oscar presented to him by genre mavens Vincent Price and “Planet of the Apes” actress Kim Hunter, but Baker was even more surprised that he earned before many of the artists he looked up to: “It was unbelievable to win, because there had only been two make-up artists to get Oscars before, John Chambers and William Tuttle – and they were special achievement awards – so yeah, it was unreal.” Both Landis and Baker certainly chatted like old friends throughout the question and answer session as well, with Baker stating that “he’s changed my life in so many ways.”

They divulged in tales of the first time meeting each other in Baker’s mom’s house in Covina, California, and how Baker met his wife – hair stylist Silvia Abascal – on the set of Landis’ underrated 1985 gem “Into The Night.” Landis cast Baker in a small cameo as a drug dealer lead actor Jeff Goldblum’s character runs into on Hollywood Boulevard, and also used Abascal as a prostitute for the same scene. Landis said he snapped a picture of the two together in costume as their seedy characters, to which Baker replied, “I still have that photograph, it’s a very nice 8x10 photograph that John sent me, of the night I met my wife. It’s the very first time we met and we have this photograph of that, so, you know.”

AMPAS is continuing this series until November 1st. More details can be found here.

This article is related to: John Landis, Rick Baker, Max Landis, Chronicle 2, An American Werewolf in London


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