Don't Breathe and Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez was busy promoting the upcoming Don't Breathe 2, directed by the original's co-writer Rodo Sayagues when he was asked about the supposedly terrible test screening of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot. The film picks up from where Tobe Hooper's iconic 1974 slasher, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, left. Texas Chainsaw Massacre has had a tumultuous production, with directors Andy and Ryan Tohill (The Dig) quitting after just one week into filming over creative differences with Legendary Pictures. David Blue Garcia (Tejano) was then hired to take over the directorial duties. The previously shot footage was discarded, and Garcia had to start from scratch. Although, Chris Thomas Devlin's original script is still used.
The troublesome production combined with a disgruntled netizen who attended an early test screening has resulted in rumors raising doubts about Texas Chainsaw Massacre's quality. Fede Alvarez, who recently attended Bloody Disgusting's Boo Crew Podcast with Rodo Sayagues, squashed these rumors. Here is what he said,
"I would let the studio announce [the planned release], but we played it a couple times. There was someone online who said it didn't go well; I don't know what screening he was at... it was amazing," Alvarez explains. "When you test it, you get a score, and it scored as good as [Don't Breathe 2], which I think is better than Don't Breathe. So that tells you something."
He then talked about how Texas Chainsaw Massacre will honor the original's legacy.
"It started just as Evil Dead started; us thinking, what can we do with this character and this franchise. A lot of respect for the legacy of the first movie, but we're aware there's a new audience out there who might not love it or doesn't know anything about it, so we need to make sure they can enjoy it as well. That's how the story was crafted."
"You'll have news soon." He further added. Since the release of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, there have been several sequels, prequels, a remake, and direct to video films. But none have come close to recreating the original's impact. Hopefully, the upcoming legacy sequel sets itself apart from the earlier films. The film was announced last year and has finished filming but doesn't have a release date as of now.
The producers of Texas Chainsaw Massacre seem to be following the example of the Halloween sequels. David Gordon Green's Halloween served as a direct sequel to the 1978 original and removed everything that came after it from canon. Halloween 2018 was successful at the box office and is now getting two sequels to round out the trilogy and end the saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. The same seems to be happening with Texas Chainsaw Massacre as the two main characters from the 1974 film are returning, albeit in much older avatars. Mark Burnham (Lowlife) will be playing old-man Leatherface, the role once made famous by horror icon Gunnar Hansen. Olwen Fouéré (Mandy, The Survivalist) will be taking over from the late Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty.
The official poster of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot was released in October 2020, teasing a 2021 release date saying, "In 1974 the world witnessed one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American History. In 2021, the face of madness returns." So far, only an R-rating has been confirmed, and no release date is in sight. Other cast members in the film include Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Sarah Yarkin (Happy Death Day 2U), Moe Dunford (Vikings), Alice Krige (Deadwood), Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner), Nell Hudson (Victoria), Jessica Allain (The Laundromat), William Hope (Aliens), and Sam Douglas with Jolyon Coy.
Fede Alvarez is producing Texas Chainsaw Massacre with his Don't Breathe co-writer Rodolfo Sayagues for Bad Hombre Pictures. Kim Henkel, Ian Henkel, and Pat Cassidy are producing via their Exurbia Films. With almost zero marketing so far, it's unlikely that Texas Chainsaw Massacre will stick to its proposed 2021 release. But with Alvarez singing high praises about the film, at least the wait will be worth it.
While you wait for Texas Chainsaw Massacre, be sure to catch Norman Nordstrom/The Blind Man in action in Don't Breathe 2, releasing in theaters on August 13, 2021.