The U.S. rights for the Guillermo del Toro-produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (starring Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes) have finally been picked up, by FilmDistrict. At one point, the film was set to open last month, but it has now been given an August 12th, 2011 release date.
The film was one of those “orphaned” when Disney’s Miramax label was shut down last year, and has since been floating around, trying to find a home – luckily it’s found one. It received an incredibly positive response when it was screened at Comic-Con 2010.
Hopefully you haven’t forgotten about this project in the time it was in limbo – in case you don’t already know, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a remake of the 1983 TV movie of the same name. The new version was written and shot with the intention of receiving a PG-13 rating, but instead received a non-negiotable R. Nice. A press release for the film described it as such:
Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison), a lonely, withdrawn child, has just arrived in Rhode Island to live with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) at the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the sprawling estate, the young girl discovers a hidden basement, undisturbed since the strange disappearance of the mansion’s builder a century ago. When Sally unwittingly lets loose a race of ancient, dark-dwelling creatures who conspire to drag her down into the mysterious house’s bottomless depths, she must convince Alex and Kim that it’s not a fantasy—before the evil lurking in the dark consumes them all.
And back in August, a teaser was released for the film, which you can watch below:
This is one of my most anticipated movies of the year. The last fantastic films that del Toro was involved with were Pan’s Labyrinth (which he directed, of course) in 2006, and The Orphanage (which he produced) in 2007. That’s a while ago. I love his visual style, and while he has a huge number of productions lined up, getting people excited for them, most of them are aeons into the future. We won’t see his next directing gig, At the Mountains of Madness, until late in 2012 at the earliest, but hopefully Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will provide a small tide-over. It looks great.
FilmDistrict is a newly-founded distribution outfit, and its first film will be Insidious, directed by James Wan (the original, brilliant Saw) and written be Leigh Whannell (Saw I–III). Insidious is opening April 1st.