Howdy do, everyone, Papa Vinyard here.
Deadline has announced that Gil Kenan has found the female lead for his remake of 1982's POLTERGEIST in Rosemarie DeWitt. DeWitt is relatively unknown, but has made strong impressions in THE WATCH (as Ben Stiller's wife), Lynn Shelton's YOUR SISTER'S SISTER, and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, in which she locked town a ton of critics' awards and nominations as the titular character. She is also the lead of Shelton's upcoming film, TOUCHY FEELY, which got her some positive reviews out of Sundance. DeWitt will be updating JoBeth Williams' character from the original, a family woman who is giddily curious about the supernatural presence in her house until it takes away her youngest daughter.
It's probably a coincidence that this news comes on the heels of the massive success of THE CONJURING this past weekend (co-starring DeWitt's husband, Ron Livingston), but it's a happy one. That film proved that, when done right, a haunted house movie can still be a box-office draw while being critically acclaimed and downright scary, even shot traditionally without a "found footage" gimmick. I like MONSTER HOUSE, and I have hopes that Kenan will be able to replicate the chilly vibe that Hooper (and Spielberg) invested into the first one, without overly focusing on ghost/otherworldly effects.
Now let's see who they find to replace Craig T. Nelson and, more importantly, Zelda Rubinstein. Who could possibly make the same impression with, "This house is clean"?
POLTERGEIST is gearing up to shoot soon, aiming for a release date sometime in 2014.