Nearly four years after it was first announced, then decried, then forgotten, then announced, decried, and forgotten all over again, David Gordon Green’s remake of Dario Argento’s Suspiria is ready to begin the process anew—although this time, the project has fresh financial backing and seems to be well on its way to actually happening. Deadline reports that Crime Scene Pictures has partnered with Hotel Rwanda producer Francesco Melzi d’Eril and I Am Love producer Luca Guadagnino to develop the film, which has already begun searching all over again for its Suzy, the American student who discovers that a prestigious European academy harbors an awful secret involving witches, barbed wire, and a kick-ass prog-rock soundtrack, at least some elements of which will remain in the rehashed version.
At one time, Green’s Your Highness star Natalie Portman was attached to play Suzy, and last year Green said that, in fact, it was Portman’s role in Black Swan that made him “re-envision” his own remake, beginning with stripping away the ballet element. In Green’s version, Suzy is trapped at a dance-free "all-girls’ boarding school," while he’s also aged her down into her early teens to focus on “younger, more naïve kinds of characters—the wide-eyed, Snow White version of the movie, rather than a more sophisticated, sexual version of it.” And of course, saying he’s looking to get rid of all the sophistication likely isn’t promising to fans of Argento’s original, even given the admittedly lowered expectations of handing one of the most singular visions in horror over to the guy best known of late for stoner comedies, and who in the same breath expresses a fondness for that recent I Spit On Your Grave remake.
It’s also probably not enough to reassure them that, in the same interview, Green knowingly lamented the “twisted, perverted, unfortunate state that our industry is in—that’s literally more valuable than quality, or originality, or having something be unique. Something that’s derivative is an easier sell, or, 'What can we hang our hat on financially that already exists so we don’t have to market it creatively?'”—offering this as a means of self-aware acknowledgment that that’s exactly what a Suspiria remake is, no matter how much Green avows that he’s trying not to do that, somehow. But hey, perhaps it will make skeptics feel better that those rumors about Marilyn Manson co-starring still appear to be false? Maybe just a little?