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Sam Rockwell Could Star In The Poltergeist Remake

Horror movies don't typically attract the highest of A-listers for whatever reason, but thus far the upcoming remake of Poltergeist seems to be two for two in terms of casting. Late last month we learned that Rosemarie DeWitt was in negotiations to play the movie's female lead, and now The Wrap has learned from sources that Sam Rockwell is now in early talks to star in the Sam Raimi-produced film as well.

Based on a script by David Lindsay-Abaire, who most recently wrote the script for Raimi's Oz The Great and Powerful, the movie tells the story of the Bowen family and their battle against evil spirits when their youngest daughter Madison is abducted by supernatural forces. As you may have noticed, the premise of the movie has remained the same, but the names from the 1982 original have changed (the daughter's name in that film was Carol Anne and the family name was the Freelings). Gil Kenan, who last directed the 2008 adventure film City of Ember and broke out with the animated feature Monster House, is helming the project, and while there's no start date mentioned in the recent report, if they are casting it means they will probably be shooting fairly soon.

While the addition of Sam Rockwell to any cast is a slam dunk, apparently this deal isn't set in stone just yet. The actor is Kenan's top choice for the part and Rockwell has shown an interest, particularly due to Raimi's involvement. He is also "weighing several movie offers," so it's possible that he could just choose to do something else instead. Should he decide to sign on, he will be the "patriarch of the Bowen family, basically the role played by Craig T. Nelson in Tobe Hooper's movie.

We've already seen a bit of Rockwell earlier this year, starring in the Sundance coming-of-age movie The Way, Way Back, but he has plenty more in store for later this year as well. In September he'll star alongside William H. Macy, Ted Levine, Kelly Reilly and Jason Isaacs in the thriller A Single Shot; then he'll reunite with Choke writer/director Clark Gregg on Trust Me; and finally there's Kat Coiro's romantic comedy A Case of You with Evan Rachel Wood and Peter Dinklage. While the latter two don't have release dates just yet (both premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival), you can watch the trailer for A Single Shot below.

The actor has also completed work on the dark comedy Better Living Through Chemistry, the Adam Rapp-directed Why Now?!, and Lynn Shelton's drama Laggies. Even if Rockwell decides not to star in Poltergeist at least we'll be seeing plenty of him at the movies.

Eric Eisenberg
Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.