Although Vincenzo Natali is by no means a household name, longtime genre fans should be thrilled by the news that he’s been chosen to direct the pilot for Syfy’s Tremors reboot, produced alongside Blumhouse with Kevin Bacon reprising his role from the 1990 movie.
Natali may still be best known for his independent sci-fi thriller Cube from back in 1997, which found a large cult fanbase. He only directed a few feature films after that, most notably the 2009 horror film Splice, produced by Guillermo del Toro and released wide by Warner Bros. The movie received rave reviews from its Sundance premiere, but only grossed $17 million in its theatrical release based on a $26 million budget. (It famously received “D” CinemaScore from audiences.)
Natali has kept busy as a director thanks to the shift of genre from film to television with credits on NBC’s Hannibal, Wayward Pines, The Strain on FX, HBO’s Westworld, Netflix’s Luke Cage and most recently, American Gods.
The new Tremors show will be written by showrunner Andrew Miller, who actually appeared in Cube, having been high school friends with Natali. This will be the first time Natali is directing a pilot, which means he’ll be pivotal to the look and feel of the show, although chances are they’ll be taking many of the show’s cues from the 1990 Universal movie directed by Andrew Underwood.
The show has the killer worms that nearly destroyed the small town of Perfection, Nevada in themovie returning, and once again, Bacon’s Valentine McKee needs to save Perfection. This time, he is older, has an alcohol problem and is a delusional hero, which might make it a tougher battle.
Miller exec. produces with Bacon, David Schiff and Jessica Rhoades.
This will not be the first time a popular cult film has made the transition tontelevision with Starz’ Ash vs. Evil Dead and Fox’s The Exorcist television series being two examples where popular genre movie concepts have been expanded for television. Bruce Campbell reprised the title role of Ash from the Evil Dead movies for the show.
Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions has been delving further into television each year, having had huge success with its films, including this year’s Get Out, which is said to be the most profitable film released this year based on its budget. Blumhouse was previously involved with the production of Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart and The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, both for HBO, with both projects winning two Emmys from multiple nominations.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor