The Shout! Factory, a home entertainment company established 15 years ago, announced last month that they are planning a remake of David Cronenberg's apocalyptic shlock classic 'Rabid.'
The original film featured adult film star Marilyn Chambers as an accident victim who receives a skin graft at a shady medical clinic (this one was not for the kiddies). She winds up spreading rabies due to a strange mutation resulting from the treatment. The government's response to the crisis is blackly comic and politically satirical (people are allowed to venture into public despite the epidemic because the military has set up safe zones that frothing-at-the-mouth pseudo-zombies breach almost at will). The film's IMBD information is here.
The company released the following press release regarding the remake;
"Shout! Studios, the multi-platform filmed entertainment distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory, has acquired U.S. rights to writers/directors Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska’s new feature remake of David Cronenberg’s early horror classic RABID. This multi-year agreement provides Shout! Studios with digital, on-demand, broadcast, home entertainment, and select SVOD rights to the RABID feature remake for cross-platform releases in the U.S. Back 40 Pictures will handle the theatrical distribution duties. The RABID feature remake by Jen and Sylvia Soska is being developed and produced by Back 40 Pictures in conjunction with Telefilm Canada and Ontario Media Development Corporation. The announcement was made today by Jordan Fields, Vice President of Acquisitions at Shout! Studios, and film producer Michael Walker.
Jen and Sylvia Soska will direct this new feature from a screenplay they adapted with John Serge from the original Cronenberg classic. Michael Walker, Paul Lalonde, and John Vidette are serving as producers.
Shout! Studios will be working closely with filmmakers and producers in the production process. The RABID feature remake is currently in the pre-production phase. Principal photography is expected to begin in April.
'Remaking one of the seminal films of David Cronenberg’s early work is audacious, exciting and not a little nerve-wracking. But there are no better hands in which to place this challenge than the four belonging to the enormously talented Soska sisters. Their creative vision will both honor the Cronenberg ethos and find in Rabid a currency that will terrify today’s audiences,' said Jordan Fields, Vice President of Acquisitions at Shout! Studios.
'It’s a tremendous honor to be re-imaging David’s 1977 body horror classic, RABID, with such incredible support behind us. We are not fans of soulless remakes as seems to be the trend these days as they disrespect the fans and the original body of work. Our RABID is a continuation of the thoughts and conversation David started with his original piece and modernized through a female perspective. This film will truly honor not only the original but Cronenberg’s entire body of work which would not have been possible without a team behind us that cares about the artist and well as the fans. Shout Studios has always put the fans first and this film will blow audiences away with its authenticity and elevated horror,' said filmmakers Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska.
The film deal was negotiated by Shout’s Jordan Fields and Vanessa Keiko Flanders, and by Michael Walker on behalf of Back 40 Pictures and Clay Epstein of Film Mode Entertainment."