While many would like to throw slasher films back into the very annals of film history, it comes as no surprise to horror fans that titles like “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” generate big business over countless sequels – and now remakes. The franchise of slasher films under the “Leprechaun” moniker – slasher films being probably the only genre you could comfortably group it into – has been a curious one from the start. Perhaps best known for an early career performance by Jennifer Aniston in the 1993 original, along with the always bonkers performance of “Willow” actor Warwick Davis as the titular monster, the franchise has seen the green-tinged one go from the suburbs to space and even ‘Back 2 Da Hood‘ over six entries.
Apparently WWE Studios (yes, The World Wrestling Entertainment Studios) and Lionsgate see some sort of life left in the franchise – which saw its last few releases bypass a theatrical run and head straight to DVD – as they move forward with their reboot entitled “Leprechaun: Origins” with scribe Harris Wilknson. Wilkinson’s best know for selling his spec script “Ink” to Paramount, along with developing a pilot with the upcoming “Total Recall” reboot and “Underworld” helmer Len Wiseman at Fox a couple seasons back. Professional wrestler Hornswoggle – who’s known to dress as a Leprechaun in his regular ring persona – is tapped for the lead, so perhaps there’s no surprise there. Lionsgate has worked with WWE Studios in the horror genre before, with the Kane-starring “See No Evil,” and they even had the “Battle Royale”-riffing “The Condemned” back in 2007. Classic, surely, by any standard.
We’d be lying if we said the movement on this project isn’t bizarre, mostly because we don’t know who is clamoring for the return of the “Leprechaun” franchise, but stranger things have happened. At the very least it could be a welcome guilty pleasure, but that remains to be seen. Though admittedly, while this writer would love to have Warwick Davis back in the role, he’s probably enjoying work on blockbusters like Bryan Singer’s upcoming “Jack the Giant Killer” and acing it most recently on the small screen in Ricky Gervais‘ “Life’s Too Short.”