Arachnophobia is defined as the irrational fear of spiders and arachnids. It is in fact, a quite rational affliction, suffered by, I imagine, the majority of people on the planet. It is also the name of a 1990 horror-comedy film from director Frank Marshall starring Jeff Daniels, Harley Jane Kozack and John Goodman. Because fear of spiders is pretty universal and eternal, Arachnophobia is now getting a remake from Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and James Wan's Atomic Monster production company.
The Arachnophobia remake is in the early stages right now, according to Deadline, and a writer has yet to be attached. James Wan, whose horror bona fides include Saw and The Conjuring, is increasingly in demand these days and will serve as producer on the Arachnophobia remake. He will not, however, be directing the film, and as of yet no director has been announced. Regardless, since there isn't even a script yet, there is plenty of time to find the right person.
The original Arachnophobia is about a South American killer spider that made its way into the U.S. inside of a coffin. The Amazonian spider produces infertile offspring with a house spider that goes on a killing spree. A few courageous individuals, knowing that the only good spider is a dead spider, go out to track down the queen spider before she can produce fertile offspring that would send the planet into a dark age ruled by killer spiders.
I'm quite curious about what shape this remake will take. On the one hand, I don't see the need for a remake, but maybe this will be a loose remake that is simply trying to capitalize on whatever small name recognition there is for a nearly 30-year-old film. A lot of people are afraid of spiders, so that is certainly ripe territory to mine for an original horror story. Being a remake with the Arachnophobia name though, I'm really hoping that it maintains the comedic elements of the original.
The ongoing horror renaissance has seen the genre enjoying critical and commercial success with scary, thought-provoking and creatively compelling films, but horror comedies haven't really taken part in this resurgence. On TV, shows like Ash Vs. Evil Dead have been carrying the torch for horror comedy; still, I'd really like to see the big screen side of things bring some humor back to horror. Along with the possible upcoming Zombieland 2, an Arachnophobia remake seems like a good way to do that.
As for James Wan, he may next be involved in the adaptation of Stephen King's novel, The Tommyknockers, and he will be executive producing the Swamp Thing TV series for DC's new streaming service. Before that though, this fall sees the release of his DC film Aquaman on December 21st. To see everything hitting theaters the rest of this year, check out our release schedule. Plus, for all the latest in irrational fears, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.