Elijah Wood Will Channel Joe Spinell for MANIAC Remake!

got first word of this yesterday, but now Deadline is confirming their casting scoop. Elijah Wood will topline the upcoming remake of Bill Lustig’s notorious 1980 “slasher” cult classic MANIAC.

Kinda crazy, huh? But we approve. Before fans start crying foul, MANIAC isn’t exactly the great classic that say… the Universal Monster movies are. (and those have all been remade countless times.) Sure, it’s got an amazing performance from actor Joe Spinell, and some of the best work of Tom Savini’s FX career, but it’s also got a fairly traditional straight forward serial killer plot. (Killer was tormented by his mother, kills girls.) It’s also not as well known by the general public as it is by die-hard horror fans. (Those unfamiliar should read THIS review by Icons friend Brian Collins from Horror Movie A Day.)

Deadline elaborates on the plot in their post: “Wood plays the role of a serial killer who works at a shop that sells antique mannequins. He finds victims on the Internet and stalks them like prey, all the while suffering from hallucinations that throw him back into the past, when he was abused by his own mother. In his twisted mind, he gains a measure of revenge against his mother with each kill.”

The other thing is Spinell is such a unique character that trying to find someone exactly like him would be a great disservice to the original film. So why not go for someone radical like Wood? Hell, I was reminded by the Deadline post of his creepy performance in Sin City. Plus, he’s a huge, huge genre fan.

Nora Arnezeder also stars. Franck Khalfoun (P2) will direct from a script by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Lavasseur (the pair that brought us High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes remake, Piranha 3D and Mirrors) who will also produce. Shooting is scheduled for later this year.

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