American director plots remake of 'The Wicker Man'

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The Independent Culture

One of the most revered British horror films, The Wicker Man, could be be remade and set in the United States in a move that is likely to appal cult-film purists.

One of the most revered British horror films, The Wicker Man, could be be remade and set in the United States in a move that is likely to appal cult-film purists.

The 1973 film, set on a fictional island off the north-west coast of Scotland, had villagers from Dumfries and Galloway as extras and was intimately tied to its location. The work of the British filmmaker Robin Hardy, it starred Edward Woodward as a strait-laced policeman sent to the Summerisle to look into a young girl's disappearance.

The remake is being considered by the American director Joe Berlinger, who was reported yesterday to be making plans to reshoot the film in the United States.

The director, who has already offended the purists with a sequel to the low-budget Blair Witch Project, told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper that he would film the remake with a new script, new cast and an entirely new setting.

"It's hot and very controversial. I originally saw The Wicker Man about 18 years ago and really liked it... I thought this would be a perfect film to remake on US soil, which I know will drive people crazy," he said.

If he does go ahead with the project he will need to bear in mind the fate of Sylvester Stallone's remake of the 1970s classic Get Carter, which flopped in the US this month.

A spokesman for the film organisation Scottish Screen also warned: "You attempt a remake of a film so beloved by so many at your peril."

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