The Hitcher - Variety

Source: Variety
Platinum rides 'Hitcher' redo
Rogue to release remake of '80s horror pic
18 April 2005

Looking to scare up another horror remake hit, Platinum Dunes has made
a deal with Focus Features to redo 1986 pic "The Hitcher." The film will
be released through Focus' genre label, Rogue Pictures.
Deal marks the third remake for Platinum Dunes since it was formed by
Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller to hatch low-cost genre fare.
Shingle began with "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and continued with
"The Amityville Horror," both of which outgrossed their negative costs
in their opening weekends. "Amityville Horror," which cost $19 million,
finished its opening frame at $23.3 million.
Originally directed by Robert Harmon, "The Hitcher" starred C. Thomas
Howell as an ordinary teen who picks up the hitchhiker from hell, a role
originated by Rutger Hauer. The serial killer torments the youth by
implicating him in each of his crimes. Bay said saga fits the company
template in that its premise offers a scare potential just as high with
the current crop of teen moviegoers as it was when the original opened.
"Someone mentioned the title and I said, 'That's the one we should do,' "
Bay said. "I loved it as a kid, and we can add some cool twists and turn it
into a rocking film." One possibility, he suggested, is to make the
protagonist female.
Bay said they will quickly ink a writer. Bay, Form and Fuller are down to
three finalists for the directing job on a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
prequel at New Line that will trace Leatherface's formative years.
Focus co-president David Linde will oversee "The Hitcher" for Rogue.
He first worked with Platinum Dunes when Focus predecessor Good Machine
Intl. distributed "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" overseas. The film,
which cost $9 million, grossed north of $100 million worldwide.
Formed 13 months ago, Rogue will release its first films this summer: the
Jet Li/Morgan Freeman action film "Unleashed" and the fright film "Cry Wolf."
The distrib is developing two other projects with Platinum Dunes, "The
Horseman" and "The Surrogate."
Platinum Dunes signed a whopping first-look deal with Bob and Harvey
Weinstein at Dimension Films right after the success of "The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre," and Bay said his long-term allegiance will remain
with the brothers, who are setting up a new company.
"They haven't been buying, but when they start again, we'll continue,"
Bay said.


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