In 2011, franchises don’t die, they reboot, which is why it shouldn’t be a surprise that we have word on movement regarding another entry in the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” series. In 2009, the rights moved from one shithouse (Platinum Dunes) to another (Twisted Pictures, home to “Saw“) and now it appears that a major brand relaunch is afoot. The good folks at Bloody-Disgusting inform us that John Luessenhop is in talks to direct “Leatherface 3D,” which sounds less like a major sequel and more like some sort of tacky stage show.
From a script (scripts?) by Debra Sullivan, Adam Marcus and Stephen Susco, the new film looks to be ignoring the three sequels (one of them quite good) to Tobe Hooper‘s seminal film not to mention New Line‘s recent blockbuster remake and its significantly-less-successful prequel, beginning at the precise end of the 1974 classic and flashing forward thirty-five years later. So Leatherface will be having a mid-life crisis? Collecting social security?
Luessenhop, who last helmed the mid-budgeted crime epic “Takers,” is an odd choice, in that his last film was an attempt to marry the low-fi sensibilities of a traditional heist film with the more contemporary storytelling techniques of digital-era Michael Mann. Pursuing a filmmaker like him says less about the “artist” (“Takers” has the muddiest, ugliest look of any major studio release in years) and more about the profit his work generates ($69 million). Moreover, Twisted Pictures using “Leatherface” as a name is a nakedly-obvious attempt at rebranding, smelling of rank desperation considering their cash cow, the “Saw” series, has reached its end. All these years later, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remains in the horror classics canon, so we doubt there’s anything Twisted Pictures can do to sully its stature. But for once, we would like to see a film series pronounced dead.