Alejandro Amenábar's The Others is a great example of a word-of-mouth hit. When it was first released in August 2001, it opened to just $14.1 million and in fourth place – far behind the $45.1 million debut of American Pie 2, and not even getting anywhere near Rush Hour 2's second weekend total ($33.1 million). People who did wind up seeing it got seriously spooked, however, and thanks to those people telling all of their friends about it the film turned out to be a sleeper hit. All told it made $209.9 million globally on just a $17 million budget.
It's a great success story... so naturally Hollywood is now trying to copy it by producing a remake two decades later.
News of this development comes to us from Deadline, which says that Universal Pictures and Sentient Entertainment are teaming up on the developing feature. Beyond that, however, details are slim, as the project is still very much in early days. Executives are reportedly currently meeting with writers to handle the script, and it doesn't appear that there is a director involved yet steering the ship. Because of this, we also presently have no idea what the new Others' relationship with the original will be.
Based on an original screenplay by Alejandro Amenábar, the original The Others is set in 1945 and stars Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart – a woman living with her two photosensitive children in a remote country house on one of the Channel Islands. When strange occurrences begin the occur, Grace begins to suspect that her house may be haunted, and begins to investigate the presence of "others." It all leads up to a fantastic ending that I won't spoil here just in case some readers are planning to watch it in the run up to Halloween at the end of the month, but given the film's popularity, it will be hard for the remake to match the impact.
But while it's easy to be pessimistic about a remake of The Others, let's not ignore one thing: at this stage the chances of it being awful are just as good as it being great. It's possible that the filmmakers hired wind up finding a brilliant angle to take with the material, and the movie ends up being even more beloved than the original. We've certainly seen it happen before in the horror genre, with titles like The Thing and The Fly immediately springing to mind, so let's just wait and see what ends up happening before instantly having negative expectations.
It may be a minute before we hear any new updates about the Others remake given how early in development it still is, but you can be sure that we'll be paying attention to it, and will bring you reports about all of the biggest updates.