New Line Catches ‘Chainsaw’ Buzz

Posted on Mar 9, 2002

New Line has picked up the rights to Michael Bay’s remake of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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New Line Catches ‘Chainsaw’ Buzz

By Charles Lyons

NEW YORK (Variety) – New Line Cinema is shelling out $5 million-$7 million for North American and Italian rights to a toned-down, modern refiguring of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

New Line co-CEO Bob Shaye said the picture would be “an original, fresh and thrilling post-modern” take on the 1974 cult classic. In the new picture, he noted, blood-letting will be kept to a minimum, particularly since producer Michael Bay is active on a director committee against violence.

Studio production president Toby Emmerich added: “My sense from Bay is that he will not so much look at the previous ‘Chainsaw’ movies as look back to the original, real stories that informed it.”

Writer/director Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” helped spawn an entire genre of B slasher pics. When a dozen graves are violated in a rural Texas cemetery, five twentysomethings investigate. En route they discover a family of grave robbers, led by a vicious, saw-wielding butcher.

Shooting is expected to begin this summer with a budget between $13 million and $19 million.

Sony’s Screen Gems, Paramount Pictures and Dimension Films also pursued “Massacre,” but not as aggressively as New Line. Bay clinched the New Line deal after screening a one-minute promo for the picture. The picture has already lined up distribution deals in such countries as Spain, Britain, Germany and Japan.