If remakes are what’s hot in Hollywood right now, then remakes of Stephen King adaptations are hell. Everyone seems to be digging into the famous horror writer’s back catalogue, with new releases The, Pet Sematary, Curryand Firestarter have been hitting the big and small screens for the last decade. [Remakes of Salem’s Lot and Cujo are on the way.]
Another addition to this ever-growing list is a new version of The children of the corn, which doesn’t stray too far from the 1984 original with Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton. There’s a lot of corn, some creepy kids, a few gruesome deaths, and a charismatic leader who’s not to be trusted. Digital Trends spoke with 2023 remake director Kurt Wimmer about Stephen King’s enduring appeal and why he’s drawn to remaking classic genre films from the ’80s and ’90s.
Digital Trends: In researching your past work, I found out that you have been involved with a lot of remakes. You have written scripts for its remakes The Thomas Crown case, Full resetand The turning point. And now we have The children of the corn, which is another remake. What is so appealing to you about reinterpreting something that already exists?
Kurt Wimmer: Absolutely nothing. [Laughs] I didn’t set out to be the “King of Remakes”. I have done many films and some of them are remakes. That’s just the world we live in now. It is very difficult to make an original film. There must be some sort of recognizable IP attached to it, such as a comic book, novel, or previous film that can be remade.
So there is absolutely nothing that attracts me to them. With The turning point and Full resetI really liked those original movies, so when I was offered to write the remakes, I said to myself, “Well, listen, if anyone’s going to laugh at this, it might be me.” You don’t always have complete control over the films you get to make.
I appreciate the honesty.
Sure. The Thomas Crown case it was at the beginning of my career. With that, I couldn’t say no to doing it.
You said you were a fan of the original Full reset and The turning point. The same is true with the 1984 edition The children of the corn? And have you seen any of the nearly dozen sequels that have been made over the years?
I haven’t seen any of the sequels, to be honest. I just went back to the source material [the short story by Stephen King]. There’s a reason there have been so many sequels because the original material King created has such resonance.
As written, The children of the corn it has a very bare-bones story with enormous elasticity, allowing it to be retold for different generations. The main theme of the story is the generation war. In the 1984 edition, it focused on religious fanaticism. Young people today who are 16 years old, if they go back and watch this movie, they won’t get it at all because that’s not what’s important today.
In 2023, I think kids have a real bone to pick with adults about how to manage the world around them. And we all know the Earth is going to hell in a basket. And it is certainly not the fault of the new generation, but they are the ones who will have to face it and live it. They don’t make the decisions. Adults make these really crappy decisions. And so I can understand why kids want to take matters into their own hands.
I think it’s really something worth repeating through one The children of the corn remake. It’s a pattern that can be repeated over and over again. I think 15 years from now, there will be a different reason for friction between adults and children, and we’ll have to rebuild to address that friction.
Are you a big fan of Stephen King?
Oh! Yes. When I was younger, I read a lot of his stuff. I love the classics like Curry and THE SHINING, I really liked these books. I haven’t been keeping up with him in recent years. I mean, who can? He writes faster than you can read them.
What was the most challenging aspect of shooting this film?
The hardest part was shooting in cornfields with a bunch of kids covered in blood. I mean, every movie is challenging, so I can’t say that this one was more challenging than the others. We shot in April 2020 during the early stages of COVID, so at one point we were the only film actively in production on Earth. But I can’t say it was more challenging than any other film I’ve done.
Children of Corn now playing in theaters.