Lionsgate To Deliver More Leprechauns
UPDATE: Warwick Davis speaks!
UPDATE: Warwick Davis has shared his thoughts on further Leprechauns in a Facebook chat (carefully monitored by STYD). "I think it would be a shame to remake Leprechaun," he opined. "It's a cult classic. I think there is a lot more to explore with the character, so that should be done with another sequel."
Warwick says he suggested making Leprechaun Vs. Pirates to Johnny Depp when the two were filming Life's Too Short, but that Depp didn't seem much interested. More fool Depp, say we. But that's not Warwick's only idea. "I think a road movie would be fun," he says. "The Lep is best when encountering different types of people. I'd also like to see a female Leprechaun, [who's] even meaner and makes the original Lep look soft. I'd love to play her too!"
If you're a horror head, you may well have a soft spot for Freddy, Jason, Michael, Pinhead and, if you're dedicated, Chucky and the Corn children. But true connoisseurs of inexplicably long and increasingly mind-boggling franchises will prick up their ears this morning at the news that Lionsgate is planning to reboot the Leprechaun series. The proximity of this announcement to St Patrick's Day is probably not a coincidence.
If you're new here, the original Leprechaun came out in 1993, starring Warwick Davis as the titular murderous imp (mad as hell about being swizzed out of his Lucky Charms gold), and providing a pre-Friends starring role for Jennifer Aniston. It was released by Trimark, which Lionsgate swallowed in 2000.
It spawned an amazing five sequels in Leprechauns 2 and 3, Leprechaun 4: In Space, Leprechaun In The Hood, and Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood. Franchise highlights include the wee man becoming a rap mogul in the Hood instalments; wielding a shillelagh light saber in the sci-fi one; and jumping on a guy with a pogo stick, while singing, "This old Lep, he played one, he played pogo on his lung."
The reboot constitutes a two-film deal between Lionsgate and WWE Studios (yes, that's WWE as in wrestling), who previously collaborated on See No Evil, starring wrestler Kane, and The Condemned, with (Stone Cold) Steve Austin. Can we expect Dave Bautista as the Leprechaun?
"We've been looking for ways to continue our relationship with Lionsgate," explains WWE honcho Michael Luisi, "and we saw Leprechaun as the perfect opportunity to take a well-known franchise and put a modern-day spin on it. This is a property we believe our audience will respond to, and we continue to look for ways to surprise and engage them."
We're certainly surprised. Our level of engagement remains to be seen. There's not yet any talent attached, whether in the form of cast, writers or director, but a 2013 release is on the cards.
Is Leprechaun unthinkable without Davis? Give us your thoughts in the comments. And, for tomorrow, Happy St Patrick's Day!