Surprising news today as Warner Bros. announced they are working with legendary independent filmmaker Larry Cohen on a remake of his cult favorite monster movie, Q.
“I’m very excited to update Q,” said Cohen in a studio press release. “I know it may seem strange to some people that I would work with a studio again after all these years, but I made the IT’S ALIVE films and A RETURN TO SALEM’S LOT for Warner Bros., so it feels like a homecoming.”
The question remains, why remake Q at all? Having aired seemingly several thousand times on HBO in the early to mid-’80s, the film has gained a large cult fan base. The answer, as is usually the case, appears to be money.
“I like the original film,” Cohen explained. “But I didn’t have the budget to do everything I wanted with the creature. The stop motion effects and matte paintings…I know there are people who think they look charming and old-fashioned, but to me, they just look cheap and shoddy. With the budget the studio is going to give me, we can create a truly fearsome CGI monster that not only snatches people from rooftops, but lays waste to a large portion of Manhattan. An early action scene in the script has the monster toppling the new World Trade Center tower during its opening ceremony. It’s going to be a spectacle!”
The performance by Michael Moriarty as petty criminal Jimmy Quinn is what many point to as giving the original film its staying power. Cohen said he does not anticipate Moriarty reprising his role as Quinn, but he wants him to participate in the film.
“Michael is too old now to play Quinn,” according to Cohen. “But he will bring the monster to life in a motion capture performance and also be its voice! The script calls for the monster to get into the heads of its followers and command them to offer up sacrifices. We need an actor with a voice that is full of authority and I can’t think of a better actor for that than Michael! Although I don’t think we’ll be able to work in a jazz number for him this time. A reincarnated Aztec god that terrorizes New York is one thing. A scatting Aztec god is kind of ridiculous.”
While Cohen admitted that the production he has in mind would cost more than his usual low-budget films, he stressed that it would be inexpensive by major studio standards.
“I can’t see the film costing more than $100–$120 million tops,” Cohen said. “How much did they spend on the new GODZILLA movie? How much on that one where the pretty Japanese girl beats up monsters with a big robot? Compared to those, Q is a bargain! To a studio like Warner Bros., that’s a pittance.”
While the central role of Quinn has yet to be cast—Cohen has said Will Smith is his top choice—the rest of the cast is already taking shape. “James Dixon is going to play the mayor,” said Cohen. “Paul Sorvino is the chief of police. A new role, Nicky Horowitz, a tabloid reporter who interferes in the police investigation, will be played by Eric Roberts. This is shaping up to be my best cast since THE PRIVATE FILES OF J. EDGAR HOOVER.”
The film is slated to begin production this summer with a tentative release date of Christmas 2015, where it will go up against Universal’s remake of I, THE JURY.
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