John Carpenter's THEY LIVE is a fun film in his catalog - quotable, with good action and probably one of the best, most ridiculous fight scenes in film history. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper was the tough guy hero, who wore sunglasses that revealed that aliens had infiltrated every level of society. The satirical aspects of THEY LIVE aren't much dated at all; I'm surprised that no one hasn't tried to remake it before now, honestly. And now Matt Reeves is making a film based on the short story that inspired THEY LIVE, according to Deadline.
Strictly speaking, Matt Reeves' version won't be a remake, but a straight-up adaptation of the short story "8 O'Clock In The Morning", by Ray Nelson. That story is more of a thriller where the hero realizes that aliens are everywhere, who control everything, but it doesn't touch on the social themes of Carpenter's film so much as it does the paranoid aspects of the character being the only one who knows that the aliens are among us. "I saw an opportunity to do a movie that was very point-of-view driven, a psychological science fiction thriller that explores this guy’s nightmare. There could be a desperate love story at the center of this. Carpenter took a satirical view of the material and the larger political implication that we’re being controlled. I am very drawn to the emotional side, the nightmare experience with the paranoia of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS or a Roman Polanski-style film," Reeves told Deadline.
I like Reeves as a director and as a writer - his LET ME IN, while not as good as the original, of course, was still more quality than most of us expected from a remake of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. I'm worried that Reeves might put himself into a rut by making adaptations and remakes like this, but I'm confident he will bring his own voice to the project. Producer Eric Newman stated that, "There is a paranoid element to this, but the audience is in lock step with this guy, seeing the aliens from his point of view." Sounds like he's trying something closer to the source material, and different from Carpenter's film. I don't expect a long fight sequence in an alley with this one - more of a cerebral film, and that sounds like a good angle to me.