“The Writers’ Strike killed us,” said Breck Eisner, who was slated to direct the update of the 1954 film. “We’d been in full development, I’d scouted locations, we were getting to the point where we were good to go, but the strikes hit before we could finish a draft.”
The strikes last year by the Writers Guild Of America (WGA) were a long and protracted dispute between the union and the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP), that effectively crippled the film and television industries. The aftershocks of those strikes, which halted all editorial work on entertainment in those areas, are still being felt today. A similar strike by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was narrowly averted this year after the removal of Doug Allen from the Guild’s negotiating committee, and a deal with the AMPTP.
As Universal had several projects that were at a point where production could begin without the input of writers during the strikes, The Creature From The Black Lagoon was sidelined in favour of other high profile films. “They spent the money on The Wolf Man, Land Of The Lost… and with these things, when you get very close to them and that happens, it’s hard to start it up again.”
It appears that the Black Lagoon remake may not be as dead as many thought, however. Slashfilm is reporting today that Carl Erik Rinsch is attached to the project, which seems to be underdevelopment at Universal again, possibly in anticipation of a high box office take for The Wolf Man. Rinsch was recently attached to the proposed Alien prequel, until he was shifted in favour of original helmer Ridley Scott returning to direct.
Breck Eisner’s latest film, a remake of George A Romero’s cult feature The Crazies, opens in February 2010.