Neil Marshall has had made his mark on the entertainment industry by directing some pretty intense genre films, and in recent years, he’s headed to the small screen to brush up on his skills there as well. (He directed one of the most memorable episodes of “Game of Thrones” in the show’s history, season two’s “Blackwater.”) Now, the talented director will try something he hasn’t attempted before: a remake.
Deadline reports Marshall will rewrite and direct a remake of Andre Øvredal’s 2010 Norwegian film Troll Hunter, a film which has been in talks to be remade pretty much since it debuted. Christopher Columbus (yep, the writer of Gremlins and The Goonies and director of Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire) will be producing alongside the original film’s producers, John Jacobsen and Sveinung Golimo.
Troll Hunter has gained something of a cult following, but the fact that it has fans at all astounds me. I saw the original at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and while it does deliver on the promise of its title, it’s not an entertaining or well-made movie. The story follows a film crew of three Norwegian college students as they track down a man who claims to hunt trolls, and though most people don’t believe trolls exist – spoiler alert – they do. It’s a concept better suited for a five or ten minute short film than a full feature, and the basic structure (trolls appear, the group gets frantic, the troll hunter blasts them with light so they turn into stone or explode) is just repeated in various locations for essentially the entire runtime.
Marshall has some great work under his belt, and since he’s giving this thing a full rewrite, hopefully he’ll be able to come up with more compelling reasons to care about the characters than we were given in the original outing. If he can somehow give it an all-new story with the same troll hunter character, then this remake might actually be an enjoyable thing to sit through. Deadline also mentions that the producers “will aim high for the male lead, looking for a star not normally associated with the genre.” I wonder if that means we’ll see someone like Jeff Daniels play the title role…which, now that I think about it, might actually make this remake worth seeing even if the rest of the movie is a disaster.
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