The Week in Horror: ‘Underwater’, ‘Clarice’, ‘Morbius’ + more

Happy Sunday, fiends!

I guess not too many of you went out to see Underwater, as it made only a mere $7 million-yikes! Critically it seems to be doing pretty good and the average audience score gives it 3.5 stars out of 5, but with an $80 million budget, I would have expected to see more hype being built by the studio. I hadn’t even heard of the film until it was about to come out and I report on horror news. No social media blitzkrieg either? Did the studio simply not believe in the film? It seems like quite a waste.

Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet have written and are serving as executive producers on a series called Clarice, based on the post-Silence of the Lambs life of FBI Agent Clarice Starling for CBS. You might be more than a little confused by this, as NBC had produced the Hannibal series, but NBC had the rights to all the Hannibal stories except Silence because the rights to that story were held by Dino DeLaurentis and MGM. So it was unlikely that Clarice would ever appear in Hannibal if the show were to be picked up for a fourth season and why she was completely cut from the show’s adaptation of Hannibal the book, the sequel to Silence. I suppose it’s unlikely we’ll see Hannibal in this series, but there’s a big enough time gap between Silence and Hannibal where it probably won’t matter. The pilot for Clarice is set to shoot this year, with a series order likely. I have a hard time imagining a CBS series having the cinematic/artistic quality NBC made room for in Hannibal and imagine will likely be more of a straightforward procedural. Could CBS let them go as gory as Hannibal? I’m going to keep my expectations in check for this one.

Apparently, Sony will be dropping the first trailer for their new Spidey-related Morbius film starring Jared Leto tomorrow. There is a single image that was leaked online, showing a close up of Morbius and he looks like he came straight out of the comics, with a flattened bat-like appearance and pale complexion. When we first started hearing about Venom and Morbius word was that Sony was leaning into the darker material, possibly R ratings, and infused with horror. That proved to be way over-blown when all the references to Cronenberg and Carpenter were drastically toned down to give Venom a PG-13 and lacking any decapitating head bites. So who knows how far into horror Morbius will go or how it will tie into Venom, but I wouldn’t expect any Spidey cameos in this one either, but apparently there are some contract negotiations going on to get Tom Holland to appear in Venom 2.

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Dario Argento is re-teaming with daughter Asia for a new Giallo – Black Glasses. Argento hasn’t had a new film since 2012’s Dracula 3D. There was a very successful crowdfunding for his film The Sandman, starring Iggy Pop, but that project has been dead for years. And just a few weeks ago I reported that Argento would be working on a TV series this year, but I’m seeing no new details there. Black Glasses is set to shoot this year. Asia has been appearing in her father’s films since she was 14, starting with Trauma, but she also appeared in two films he produced before that – Michele Soavi’s The Church and Lamberto Bava’s Demons 2. At 79, it’s hard to imagine Dario having too many more movies left in him, so it’s been sad to see the bulk of this past decade get away without anything to follow up the disappointing Dracula 3D. Hopefully, he’s got at least one more good Giallo in him.

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