Darren Lynn Bousman, the director best known for directing four entries in the Saw franchise, including the latest entry Spiral: From the Book of Saw, has been very clear over the years that he wants to take a crack at Leprechaun. Call it a reboot, call it whatever you like, but Bousman wants to see Warwick Davis back in the role, give the killer a time machine and take him back to the old west.
I recently had the chance to speak with Darren Lynn Bousman in honor of the release of Spiral. During our conversation, I asked him why he is so intent on making this Leprechaun reboot happen, and why he is so confident he is the right guy, with the right take for the job. For him, it's about making a fun horror movie. Here's what he had to say about it.
"Here's what I love about the Leprechaun franchise. They're ridiculous. They're fun. They're violent. It's a perfect popcorn horror movie. It's not trying to be uber-serious. It's not trying to be uber-scary. It is just a fun time. I think that I miss those types of movies that are just fun. While I love the Hereditarys and the Midsommars, The Witch. Those are my favorite types of movies. They're not fun. Your butthole is clinched, You're sweating in the movie. I want those movies like the Final Destinations, where you're high-fiving in the theater, you're laughing, and I think Leprechaun kind of embodies that. I think the more they went on, they became more ridiculous. I love that. I love the fact that they would send Leprechaun to the hood, and then back to the hood! Again! And then to space!"
Warwick Davis played the title character in the first Leprechaun movie, released in 1993, and reprised the role five times, up through 2003's Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood. But with 2014's Leprechaun: Origins, it was Dylan Postl, aka Hornswoggle, who took up the mantle. For 2018's Leprechaun Returns, it was Linden Porco in the role. But for Darren Lynn Bousman, getting Warwick Davis to return is a sticking point.
"I really want Leprechaun to get a time machine and start a whole new franchise. I want to send him to the Colorado gold rush. He's gonna go back in time to the Colorado gold rush, and antics will ensue. I will only do it with Warwick Davis, and I will make this happen. I will will this into existence. I have willed every movie that I've wanted to do, whether it be a weird rock opera or going to Japan to do a TV series. I've willed s*** into existence. I will will a Warwick Davis return to Leprechaun. I love A Nightmare on Elm Street, but I did not love the Jackie Earle Haley Nightmare on Elm Street because Robert Englund is my Freddy Krueger. Warwick Davis is my Leprechaun. That's all I'm saying. I will make this happen."
The filmmaker has been very clear for some time about the basic premise of taking the horror icon back to the gold rush. It's important to note that Lionsgate controls the Leprechaun franchise, and they also happen to distribute the Saw movies. For what it's worth, Darren Lynn Bousman has made them a lot of money directing Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV and now Spiral.
Why, precisely, the studio won't let him have a crack at it remains to be seen. It seems there is nothing to lose and potentially a revamped franchise to gain. But it isn't clear what the plans are for Leprechaun at this point, if anything. Perhaps most importantly as it relates to this particular idea, whether or not Warwick Davis would be willing to return. In the meantime, you can check out Spiral: From the Book of Saw, which is in theaters now from Lionsgate.