Writer Kevin Williamson needs another hit, and he needs it badly. After a string of misfires with “The Faculty” and “Teaching Mrs. Tingle,” as well as several programs in the television realm arriving dead on arrival with audiences, we have seen a screenwriter hit rock bottom. Even “Dawson’s Creek,” his one successful television show, ends its run this May. 1996’s “Scream” feels like a far distant memory now.
Is his curse about to end with Dimension Films’ “Cursedr” Six weeks after the studio announced that it would fast track the skein for a August 8th, 2003, opening, FilmJerk.com has descriptions of the film’s leads obtained from casting sources — it isn’t much, but it’s the first step forward for a project described only as “a modern, hip twist on the classic werewolf tale” and that would help to “reinvent the werewolf genre” in an October 15th press release.
The lead character is a 16 year old named Jimmy, described as a likeable guy, but full of typical teen gawky awkwardness. He is smart, sensitive and trying to come into his own. The other leads in the film are Brooke, of the same age, who is the high school beauty, who become his love interest and Bo, a year older, who is Brooke’s football jock boyfriend who makes trouble for Jimmy whenever their paths cross. He is further described as being quite the opposite of Jimmy and insensitive.
With Dimension tight-fisted in divulging details of the film’s plot, we’re now left to ponder if any of these three leads themselves become werewolves, a la 1986’s “Teen Wolf.” The character archetypes certainly seem right for Jimmy, in particular.
Folklore (and films) often tells of individuals becoming possessed by the spirits of animals, doomed to change uncontrollably into the beast that inhabits them. The werewolf is the most common focus, but animal possession is a common theme in many cultures and the traditional holds that they change on or about the full moon, and that a “silver bullet” is the only weapon capable of killing them. Other werebeasts are rumored to have the ability to change form at will, and some can be exorcised using rituals and magic. Incidentally, the first written account of a werewolf appears in the Bible’s Book of Daniel, where King Nebuchadnezzar exhibited symptoms of were-wolfism for nearly four years. It will be interesting to see if any of this ties into the film’s plot.
There have been two critically successful films in the past two years on the subject, both independents– this year’s “Dog Soldiers” and 2001’s “Ginger Snaps.” But both bypassed theater release in the U.S., but did relatively well in video rentals/sales, so much so that there is talk of a sequel for the latter film.
So, in order to give this project some credibility, the director helming the project is Wes Craven, who directed Williamson’s first two “Scream” films. Prior to signing on the director, he had been working on a film called “Pulse” for Dimension, but the project was put back into development just before it was set to begin filming.
Hopefully, the pair’s third teaming together is the charm for Williamson.
Producers: Marianne Maddalena and Kevin Williamson
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Casting Directors: Lisa Beach and Sarah Katzman
Location: Los Angeles
Start Date: January 27, 2003
Distributor: Dimension Films