For a novel that was released in 1955 with only 191 pages to its name, Jack Finney's The Body Snatchers has seen some extensive Hollywood mileage in its 62 year existence. With four adaptations of varying quality, you'd think the story had been done to death. But they're hear again, and Warner Bros is ready to bring those purloining pods back for another round of paranoia.
The legendary sci-fi property tells the time worn story of a race of aliens that can perfectly replicate their human hosts in their sleep. Throughout various re-tellings of this story, the audience is to identify with the "survivors," as they succumb to these copy cats one by one. Ultimately, the tension comes from our protagonists trying to survive, while also trying to identify who's real and who's been replicated by the alien pods. If you think you've heard this story before, you definitely have, as it's been made into four separate movies, and used in countless TV and movie projects that spun their narrative off this same theme.
Strangely enough, out of the four Invasion of the Body Snatchers adaptations that exist, two of them are also Warner Bros products: 1993's Body Snatchers and 2007's The Invasion, both of which landed with not so successful results. One has to wonder what the studio thinks they have up their sleeves this particular time out, but to be honest, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is one of those stories that's practically evergreen when it comes to being made into a film.
The key with the concept is to really play to the fears of the day, which usually involve a sort of political flavored paranoia. For example, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers came during the Red Scare, during which time there was a rigorous hunt for Communists and Communist sympathizers in American culture. So naturally, a story like this has a lot of potential in a politically rife climate, such as the one we exist in today. But then again, there's one aspect that most adaptations seem to overlook that could help distance this new version from all that came before it.
If you read up on the novel's story versus the film adaptations, there tend to be a lot of negative / not-so-happy endings that accompany each film version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Yet, the book itself has an ending that is construed as a happy one. The alien species eventually leaves Earth, with our heroes fighting them to the extent that it pushes them away, and the planet is left in peace. If this latest version trends towards this positive ending, or even manages to use an approach that doesn't hew too close to the gloom and doom we've seen in previous versions, we might see a reinvention of the titular body snatchers that we've never experienced before.
No production schedule or release date are mentioned for the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake, but The Conjuring 2 writer David Leslie Johnson is reported by Deadline as the writer developing the project. As soon as we hear any further details on the project, we'll be back to report them just as quick.