Scott Derrickson Teases Remaking John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ – Matt Reeves Had Been Previously Attached To Reboot It For Universal

Scott Derrickson Teases Remaking John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ – Matt Reeves Almost Made A Reboot Of The Film For Universal 

Yesterday there was an update that John Carpenter and Blumhouse would be working together on an upcoming remake of The Thing based on the lost manuscript Frozen Hell, the longer original version of Who Goes There? written by John W. Campbell.

It was interesting to see another John Carpenter remake being brought-up by Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson. He says his kids are trying to convince him to remake the 1988 film They Live starring Roddy Piper and Kieth David. The film was a political satire covering classism wrapped around an alien invasion action film.

They Live has seen a newfound relevancy given what is currently going on in the United States with violence and misinformation being used to pacify citizens questioning authority, the system, and current leadership. It was a direct product and commentary of the Ronald Reagan era from Carpenter.

THEY LIVE – Nada (Roddy Piper), a wanderer without meaning in his life, discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, Nada notices that both the media and the government are comprised of subliminal messages meant to keep the population subdued and that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination. With this shocking discovery, Nada fights to free humanity from the mind-controlling aliens.

Scott recently exited Marvel’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness and is now attached to make a sequel to Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. 

Like The Thing, They Live was an adaptation of an existing science fiction story turned into a screenplay by John Carpenter. In the case of They Live, it was loosely based on Ray Nelson’s short story Eight O’Clock In The Morning. 

While we’re not sure of any active plans for a reboot, there have been attempts in the past with Universal Pictures hiring Matt Reeves in 2011 to both write and direct the project. Reeves seemingly being hired after he successfully did an English remake of the Swedish vampire film Let The Right One In with his version Let Me In. 

Of course, Reeves ended up making Dawn of The Planet of The Apes and War For The Planet of The Apes for 20th Century Fox instead of tackling a They Live remake for Universal Pictures. He’s currently in production on The Batman reboot in England which recently dropped an impressive teaser trailer cobbled together with footage from a shoot that was only 25-30% complete when it was placed on hiatus due to the pandemic. 

It doesn’t seem like Reeves is in any position to return to the They Live reboot given that he’s been talking about complete a Batman trilogy with Robert Pattinson’s incarnation of the DC Comics hero. 

There is a strong chance that Universal, Blumhouse, and John Carpenter could eventually make a deal for They Live after reviving Halloween and is expected to remake The Thing as well. 


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