After presumably realizing that America’s step-dads have had it too easy lately and that they should be vilified a little more, Universal has decided to move forward with a remake of The Night Of The Hunter—the one and only movie directed by actor Charles Laughton. The original, which starred Robert Mitchum, was famously a flop on its initial release, with moviegoers in 1955 being ill-prepared for a thriller about an evil preacher terrorizing children. That’s pretty standard stuff these days, though, so Universal should have less trouble than Laughton did (hopefully, at least, since the experience did convince him to never direct another movie).
The remake is being written by Matt Orton, who made the disappointing Nazi-hunting drama Operation Finale a couple of years ago but hasn’t made much else, and Variety says it’ll most likely be a contemporary retelling of the story rather than a period-set thriller. That decision alone might be a little tough to work around, since traveling preachers who are actually serial killers are a little less common now that we have, you know, cell phones and the ability to Google people. Still, there’s a distinct Dirty John-like feel to the story (which involves the preacher murdering a woman to scare her kids into revealing where their burglar father hid his stash of money), so it’s not totally unheard of. We just hope there’s a scene where the kids nervously comb the internet for information about the creep who’s been hitting on their mom and keeps talking about how much he loves finding secret stashes.