Today The Hollywood Reporter ehm... reports from Hollywood that Walter Hill has secured funding from Lakeshore Entertainment
to direct a remake of Robert Aldrich's classic horror film Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
. The new film will be based on Hill's own script, which apparently is an adaptation of the novel rather than the script of the previous film.
In the story, Blanche and Jane are two sisters living together in a decaying mansion. Both were stars in their youth, but their careers ended in their teens when Blanche got crippled in a car accident caused by Jane. Now in their old age, Jane takes daily care of Blanche but there is still plenty of resentment between the two.
As Jane slowly but surely becomes demented, she starts an increasingly sadistic regime of terror over the helpless, paraplegic Blanche.
The 1962 original was a very claustrophobic thriller shot in black and white, and featured Bette Davis and Joan Crawford putting in maybe career-best performances. Many critics consider it to be one of the finest psychological thrillers ever made, while others call it horror. Bette Davis as the totally deranged Jane is surely one of the most horrific villains of the sixties, an old hag wearing her child-star make-up (think of Yoda cosplaying Shirley Temple) and even serving her sister a dead rat at one point.
It's a bleak yet very poignant film, with an ending which is gutpunching in a surprising way.
To be honest Walter Hill would not be the first name coming to my mind in this context. At least he seems to know his priorities: he has already stated his main challenge now will be finding two leads able to carry this heavy, heavy film.
To be continued...
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