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Walter Hill Is Back in the Saddle with 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' Remake (Video)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 27, 2012 at 3:10PM

Writer-director Walter  Hill is one of the great underappreciated auteurs. He can do it all: stylish action, intelligent dialogue, epic scale and intimate relationships. So it's always good news to announce that he has a new movie, especially when he wrote it himself. Do I want to see him do yet another remake? No. But in this case I am curious to see his take on the classic star vs. star horror flick "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" made famous by Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.
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Walter Hill
Walter Hill

Writer-director Walter  Hill is one of the great underappreciated auteurs. He can do it all: stylish action, intelligent dialogue, epic scale and intimate relationships. So it's always good news to announce that he has a new movie, especially when he wrote it himself. Do I want to see him do yet another remake? No. But in this case I am curious to see his take on the classic star vs. star horror flick "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" made famous by Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.

"Obviously, our first task is to find the proper casting for the two defining roles,” said Hill, who adapted the original novel by Henry Farrell. The potential casting choices are tantalizing indeed. Meryl Streep vs. Glenn Close come to mind.

Lakeshore Entertainment is funding the movie with principals Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi producing with Adlrich Company's Adell Aldrich; Robert Aldrich directed the 1962 film from a script by Lucas Heller.

In "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" two aging Hollywood actresses, former child star Jane Hudson (Davis) and her wheelchair-bound 30s movie queen sister Blanche (Crawford), live and fight together in a decrepit Hollywood mansion. Inevitably, tragedy results.

Hill has directed such classics as "The Driver," "The Warriors" and "48 HRS," as well as westerns "The Long Riders," "Wild Bill" and "Geronimo," and more recently, Emmy-winning TV western "Broken Trail" and action thriller "Bullet to the Head," to be released by Warner Bros. in February, 2013.

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, Horror


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.