EXCLUSIVE: Orwo Studios and Black Hanger Studios (Jeepers Creepers: Reborn) have acquired remake rights to controversial 1984 slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night, which Orwo is beginning sales on at the virtual EFM.
The original film’s producers Scott Schneid and Dennis Whitehead of Wonderwheel Entertainment are also aboard with a planned delivery date in 2022.
Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of a child who is traumatized after seeing his parents killed by a man dressed as Santa Claus. Years later, he dons a Santa suit himself and gets bloody revenge. The movie spawned multiple sequels over the years and a loose remake in 2012.
It was the original that caused a stir, however.
The cult film was among the more controversial films of the ’80s due to its graphic violence and advertising campaign, particularly its posters and TV spots, that made significant emphasis on the killer being dressed as Santa. “You’ve made it through Halloween, now try and survive Christmas,” was the poster’s tagline.
The National Parent & Teacher Association fought to have the film removed from theaters and there were protests against the ‘Christmas movie’. Critics Siskel and Ebert were among many to condemn the film and Siskel went as far as to read names of the production crew on air, telling them, “Shame on you.”
In response, TriStar pulled all ads for the film six days after its release and the film itself was withdrawn shortly after.
Despite — or perhaps thanks to — the drama, the film opened well, outgrossing Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street, which opened on the same day. Before being pulled from theaters, the film took more than $2.4M (three times its budget) in 10 days.
The project was brought to Orwo by producer Anthony Masi of MasiMedia. Schneid, Whitehead, and Masi will produce along with Jake Seal, Terry Bird, and Jamie R. Thompson of Orwo Studios/Black Hangar. Orwo Studios is financing and representing world sales rights.
Wonderwheel said: “The continued desire for horror content and the ongoing success of the genre meant it was the perfect time to be able to offer up this chilling revival of the iconic title.”
Masi added: “We are thrilled to be working with the original producers as well as Orwo and Black Hangar and are committed to honoring nostalgia for the original while offering surprises for new audiences to discover and embrace.”
Orwo Studios and Black Hanger Studios’ Jeepers Creepers: Reborn was recently sold to Screen Media for world rights.