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Walter Hill Remake Of ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane’ Moves One Unnecessary Step Further As Film Finds Financing

Walter Hill Remake Of 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane' Moves One Unnecessary Step Further As Film Finds Financing

If the name Walter Hill conjures up at a moment’s notice the thrills of “The Driver,” “Streets of Fire,” or “The Warriors,” then it’s probably least damaging for your memories to witness the director’s work today. After a break from doing TV work on “Deadwood” and the mini-series “Broken Trail,” he came roaring back with the Sly Stallone actioner “Bullet to the Head,” whose trailer promises something only vaguely resembling a coherent film. And now, after hints toward him remaking a demented classic occurred recently, it appears the film has now found the  means to become a reality.

After Hill revealed during San Diego Comic-Con plans to direct a remake of the Bette Davis/Joan Crawford classic, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?,” warning signs immediately went up. They only intensified when the director puzzlingly promised to keep the film “period-based, but more contemporary and classic.” But apparently, Lakeshore Entertainment are fully on board, because main partners Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi have decided to produce and finance the film alongside The Aldrich Company‘s Adell Aldrich.

Hill will also rewrite the 1962 film’s script, which Lukas Heller originally adapted from the Henry Farrell novel, but hopefully he’ll flesh out his confusing approach further before production begins. Robert Aldrich‘s beautifully rendered film tells the tale of two bitterly retired sisters, living together in a decrepit mansion on the fumes of their previous acting careers, and it’ll take a lot more panache than what’s glimpsed in ‘Bullet’ to even come close.

Hopefully a pair of sterling actresses will be able to make the undertaking worthwhile, but for the meantime we’ll just have to scratch our heads at the prospect of a ‘Baby Jane’ return. [Deadline]

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Larry Ferguson

Hill has never been a very good writer, but is now nowhere near as good as he once was. If you look at his finest directing efforts they were all scripts someone else penned. When he has added his name to the "Written By" credit, the film suffers from self-indulgence and confusion.

If this remake were to be penned by a quality writer, then I believe Hill could do an outstanding job with it. But if he's writing it, it will be just like all the other films he's written or co-written overly the last two decades.

Al Eugene

The film would have to have a more nasty tone to it to seem contemporary. It would also have to fix some plot holes including (but understandable, at the time) the fact that families then kept their handicapped members away from the public. Being trapped and inaccessible upstairs seems questionable today. And don't ignore the performances of the entire cast. Edwin Flagg and Elvira need their big shoes filled, as well.
P.S. @ Charles Schmidlin: "Lakeshore Entertainment" is a combined, single entity. You only come off as pretentious by using a pluralized version of "to be." It should read "Lakeshore Entertainment is fully on board."


What I find even weirder about this is that the protagonists should be around 60 years old, and God knows, outside of Meryl Streep, studios won't touch projects anchored by people that old nowadays. Unless they'll write in a sexy young housekeeper or decrease the ages of the leads.

Whatever happens, it's stupid as hell.

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