The franchise for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre could be getting a new lease of life, as talks are reportedly ongoing for the production of further movies and a TV series. Rights for the Texas Chainsaw brand recently reverted to Kim Henkel, who was the writer and producer on the original 1970s horror. According to sources, this has caused studios to bid for future projects, with a number of them interested in producing not only further films but an ongoing TV series as well.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was released in 1974, and despite controversy during the following years, the Tobe Hooper film is rightly now considered to be a classic of the genre and appears in countless best horror movie listings. It depicts the crimes of a cannibalistic family who prey on unsuspecting tourists in rural Texas. Very loosely influenced by the tales of real-life killer Ed Gein, the central character of Leatherface went on to become an icon within the horror community, and was marked by his human-flesh mask and the chainsaws that he wielded to deadly effect. Hooper made a direct sequel in 1986, and since then the franchise has spawned a further six films. In a convoluted timeline, some of those were sequels and continued on from the original story, whereas the 2003 film of the same name was produced by Platinum Dunes and was a remake that confusingly led to its own prequel. To further complicate things, last year’s Leatherface was a prequel to the original movie.
Related: Best Exploitation Movies of All Time
But now Bloody Disgusting reports that the change in rights has allowed several studios to become interested in revitalising the brand. Apparently leading the pack is Legendary Entertainment/Legendary Pictures, who are allegedly keen to make a TV series about Leatherface and his kin, as well as continuing to make larger-budget horror movies about them. This is said to be the main objective for the talks that are ongoing, and that further outings on both the small and big screen are “inevitable” whatever the outcome.
If accurate, it’s an interesting state of affairs for the franchise, which is far from its no-budget origins. If Legendary do become the new “owners” of Leatherface, it could be a fresh brand for them to build on and compete in hard-edged R-rated territory. They also have a good relationship with Warners Bros. and Netflix, which could point to their intentions. The most recent film explored Leatherface’s formative years and attracted the talents of Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) and Stephen Dorff (True Detective). This could feasibly provide the groundwork for an ongoing series, while the films could continue in more modern times, but it’s all conjecture at this point.
In the past, despite the varying quality of the movies and only the original really drawing universal admiration, the franchise has attracted some surprising actors: Jessica Biel was in the 2003 remake, Matthew McConaughey and Renée Zellweger starred in the thoroughly warped Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, and Alexandra Daddario played Leatherface’s cousin in Texas Chainsaw 3D. So attracting major talent shouldn’t be an issue. However, it should be noted that none of this has been confirmed or denied yet, and it remains firmly in rumor territory at the moment. But if a major studio does plan to bring The Texas Chainsaw Massacre back to theaters and TVs, they’ll need to tread carefully and not upset fans of the groundbreaking original again.
Source: Bloody Disgusting