The Puppetmaster franchise has, quite arguably, never been more alive. So much so that there will now be two different version of the franchise coexisting at the same time. Producer Charles Band reveals that the recently released reboot, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, and the original series of Puppet Master movies, will both continue and will exist independently from one another.
Charles Band has been producing the long-running horror franchise since the very beginning when the first movie was released in 1989. The most recent movie in that continuity, Puppet Master: Axis Termination, was released just last year and capped off the Axis trilogy. Then came this year's The Littlest Reich, which just debuted in select theaters and on VOD and serves as the first reboot in the history of the series. That left some questions as to the fate of the continuity in the original movies, which Band cleared up in a recent interview. Here's what he had to say.
"I had had some offers over the last six, seven years, and one was really substantial by a major studio for basically taking over and doing the remake and that puts you out of the Puppet Master business. When Dallas [Sonnier] came to me from Cinestate, he says, 'You know, Charlie, I wanna do a Puppet Master remake. We have a really cool idea. It's gonna be very dark and unlike those other offers you've been telling me about, we'll make you an offer; we'll make this movie and it's gonna be on its own separate track. It's gonna live in its own world. You can continue making all your Puppet Master movies and we'll keep making these if they're successful.' So it was very unique."
While there isn't a lot of box office to speak of for the time being, it appears as though Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is doing quite well for itself. The movie, which stars Thomas Lennon and genre icon Barbara Crampton, has a 67 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 71 percent audience rating. Both numbers represent a best for the franchise. Not to give anything away for those who haven't seen it, but the door was definitely left wide open for a sequel. Charles Brand continued, saying that the unique nature of this deal will help both versions of the franchise live on symbiotically.
"I don't know if it has existed anywhere else where someone comes in makes a bigger budgeted reboot and lets the original filmmaker keep making his own Puppet Master movies. But that's what's really unique about this deal and why I'm happy they've gone gonzo and did some crazy stuff, 'cause I think it'll bring attention, if nothing else, to the Puppet Master world. But their Puppet Master is inspired by ours, but different. In terms of the merchandising, which we're very heavily into, they'll keep making theirs if it goes well and we'll be able to keep making our Puppet Master series."
This is similar to what is going on with Child's Play right now, with creator Don Mancini working on a TV series and more home video sequels, while MGM is filming a theatrical remake. As for the future of Puppet Master? Charles Band hasn't announced a sequel to Axis Termination just yet and Cinestate hasn't divulged their plans for a Littlest Reich follow-up, but it seems inevitable. Regardless, if you're a fan of killer puppets, this should serve as great news. This news comes to us courtesy of Comicbook.com.