In 2008, director David Gordon Green announced that he would remake one of the greatest horror movies of all time: Dario Argento’s Suspiria. But seven years later the hallucinatory 1977 film – the start of a trilogy that later included Inferno (1980) and Mother of Tears (2007) – remains one of the few horror classics that hasn’t been remade during the recent Hollywood nostalgia boom.
Many have officially given up on the remake entirely, but David Gordon Green isn’t one of them, as he revealed on this week’s episode of CraveOnline’s B-Movies Podcast.
“I’m actually hopeful that it’s happening,“ Green told hosts William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold, “with a great Italian director that I had breakfast with last week.”
Although David Gordon Green did not elaborate on who, exactly, he had met with to take over his Suspiria remake, he did express his enthusiasm for the project.
“That would have been the shit,” Green says. “I wrote it with my sound designer. I love Argento’s film and we wrote a very faithful, extremely elegant opera, basically of [Suspiria]. I don’t mean musical opera, but it would be incredibly heightened music, and heightened and very operatic and elegant sets. Isabelle Huppert was going to be in it, [and] Janet McTeer. We had an amazing cast of elegance and prestige that we were engineering for it.”
Unfortunately, the trend in 21st century horror thrillers was not conducive to Green’s relatively expensive remake of Suspiria. “But, at the heart of it,“ Green continues, “I wanted it to be a horror film. And a horror movie, at the time when we were modeling that movie, meant you’re making Saw and Paranormal [Activity]. You were making these down and dirty, very gory, very economical movies. So the economic model for a horror movie was not where I wanted it to be to make a $20 million elegant movie from a guy who was an unproven horror director, you know?”
But Green had plans to make his Suspiria into a reality… plans that fell apart after the disappointing box office returns of his 2011 fantasy comedy Your Highness.
“Coming off Pineapple Express that’s what I was trying to do, was leverage that success into Suspiria, and it was just very difficult to find the funds for that,“ Green explains. “So I thought, well maybe if we make my pet project Your Highness now, which I can engineer… because it fits more into the mold of what Pineapple was, with [James] Franco and Danny [McBride].”
“So if people would have given that movie the hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office that it deserved, Suspiria would exist for us all to enjoy!” Green concluded, laughing.
You can listen to the complete interview, which also includes Green’s thoughts on Manglehorn, A Confederacy of Dunces and (for some reason) the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, on The B-Movies Podcast.