Just when you thought ol’ Leatherface was finally dead, someone’s starting up the chainsaw. A new television and film rights deal is in the works for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.
Bloody Disgusting reports that the face-sporting-fiends are currently on the hunt for a new home. And that new home might just end up being Legendary Pictures, who’s currently trying to secure a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Yeah. That means Leatherface and Freddy Krueger under one roof.
The venerable horror franchise has run into some troubles in recent years. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) remains an iconic horror film and cemented the legend of late director Tobe Hooper. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) (also helmed by Hooper) was a solid mix between gory and hilarious.
Other sequels, however, have fared poorly. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995) were panned by both critics and fans. The former lacks the hard nose for gore displayed by the previous two; the latter is a shameless remake of the original, although it inexplicably stars Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones’s Baby) and Matthew McConaughey (The Dark Tower). Another remake (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)), a prequel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)), and an ill-advised entry into the 3-D craze (Texas Chainsaw 3D (2010)) drove the franchise into the ground. Leatherface (2017) attempted to right the ship with another stab at a prequel, with predictably mixed results.
Tobe Hooper is, naturally, the key ingredient in separating an okay Texas Chainsaw Massacre from a great one. Unless someone perfects the art of necromancy, however, he won’t be directing another one. This isn’t stopping Legendary Entertainment from trying. The behemoth production company is the guiding financial force behind a number of massive films, including The Dark Knight (2008), Watchmen (2009), Interstellar (2014), Jurassic World (2015), Kong: Skull Island (2017), and Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman (2018). The entertainment juggernaut is currently said to be “in the mix” to develop both a television series and more films for the franchise.
The production values and film quality on display with Legendary’s other productions are quite high. Given this, there’s a non-zero chance that the next entry in the blood-soaked adventures of Leatherface might actually be good. It’s a good sign that at least the visual aspect of the films (the gore) will be top-notch. If they can manage to strike the right balance between all-out-gore and black comedy, as Hooper managed in 1986, then it’ll prove that there’s still life in that blood-splattered chainsaw.