Children of the Corn is getting a reboot at the hands of producer Lucas Foster (Ford v Ferrari). After completing the shoot for the film in Australia under unique circumstances, which defied the world's current state of affairs, Foster gave an interview. He revealed that this new take on the horror classic will be pulling most of its cues from the original Stephen King short story, rather than the 1984 outing, the version that most general audiences are familiar with.
"[It has] almost nothing to do with [the 1984 movie]. We went back to the story and free-associated from there."
The cast of young actors picked for the remake include Elena Kampouris (Before I Fall) and Kate Moyer (When Hope Calls) in starring roles. There is also Australian talent Callan Mulvey (Avengers: Endgame) and Bruce Spence (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King). Having the young actors involved in the movie during a time of global emergency and lockdown was especially difficult, as Foster goes on to explain.
"We ended up taking hundreds of measures. We did not trust the whole. Instead, we broke down every scene separately. Night. Day. Crowds. Interiors. And so on, assessing different levels of risk."
A lot of movies are just now getting back to production. Shooting is set to resume soon on such awaited releases as The Batman, Avatar 2 and Marvel's Chang-Chi. Lucas Foster says this about working in a post-quarantine inviroment where the pandemic is very much still raging on across the world.
"You can theorize all you like about safety protocols, but until you get on set, you don't really know. But I can now tell you it is impossible to keep a camera crew 1.5 meters apart."
Safety manager Jon Heaney was in charge of keeping the show running under these unprecedented circumstances. Australia has protocols in place to ensure everyone's safety on set. Producer Lucas Foster explains that they purchased their insurance cover early, though a lot of companies are refusing to include compensation for disease infection.
"We had the insurance in place before we hit the ground, and I made sure to have paid the premiums before I left the U.S. I treated the film like an indie movie, one with no margin of error and lots of insurance.We did not use a completion bond. If we had, we would probably have been considered unfilmable and got shut down."
While 1984's Children of the Corn is today viewed as something of a horror classic, with scenes and dialogues often quoted in pop culture, the movie upon its release was not received well by critics. The acting of the titular children and the standard slasher tropes the movie employed were seen as detracting from the quality of the source material. In fact, Stephen King himself had written the script for the 1984 film, which was rejected in favor of another writer's reworking of the plot into a standard horror-thriller.
So Stephen King fans will no doubt be glad to hear the remake will be looking to the writer's short story for inspiration instead of the movie. The original short story, also titled Children of the Corn, originally appeared in a 1977 Penthouse issue, and later collected in King's 1978 collection Night Shift.
The short story tells the tale of a vacationing couple who arrive at the small, isolated town of Gatlin in rural Nebraska. There they come to the realization that the adults of the town had all been killed by an army of possessed children, and that they are the next targets. The rest of the story follows the attempts by the couple to escape the fate of the town adults at the hands of their murderous children.
Interestingly, a similar premise was presented in the recent horror franchise Sinister, which also deals with children being beguiled by evil forces into murdering their families. The new Children of the Corn movie might have more things similar to that franchise than the 1984 movie, not least because the upcoming remake is also set in present times instead of keeping the action set in the 1970s.
Hopefully, all that risk and hard work will pay off with a satisfying new movie experience for horror fans to enjoy. Variety was the first to deliver this news.