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It: Chapter Two Director Andy Muschietti Wants To Remake The Howling

The man who brought Pennywise the Dancing Clown to life on the silver screen wants you to stock up on silver bullets.

It: Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti told fans at New Line Cinema's San Diego Comic-Con panel that he wouldn't mind taking on another classic — the 1981 werewolf flick The Howling, which broke new ground in practical special effects. (via Deadline)

Muschietti's remarks came toward the end of the panel, as he and his cast fielded a query from an audience member who wanted to know what horror remakes they would like to be involved in, and conversely, which they would refuse to be a part of on principle. James Ransone, who portrays the adult Eddie Kaspbrak in the upcoming picture, got the ball rolling with a deadpan response: "I assume, to the chagrin of Stephen King, that we would not remake The Shining," he said. (Fun fact for context: while Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of that novel is widely considered to be one of the greatest horror films of all time, Stephen King himself hates it, having long opined that Kubrick didn't understand his book at all.)

The rest of the cast chipped in with their votes as to what classics should be left alone: Rosemary's Baby (a favorite, incidentally, of horror maestro Jordan Peele) and a pair of John Carpenter masterpieces: They Live and Big Trouble in Little China (which is not a horror film, but, you know, they're right). 

Muschietti then told the crowd that, if he could simply take his pick, he would choose The Howling for the remake treatment. Bill Hader, who portrays the all-grown-up version of Richie Tozier in It: Chapter Two, agreed in pretty strong terms: "If you remade The Howling," he told his director, "that would be rad."

For those unaware, The Howling was directed by the great Joe Dante, who was only a few years away from fielding an all-time classic in that beloved Christmas movie, Gremlins. The flick — adapted from a 1977 novel by Gary Brandner — follows an ambitious TV news anchor named Karen White (Dee Wallace, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) who has a near-fatal encounter with her stalker, a serial killer, in a botched sting operation. Suffering from memory loss after the incident, she is sent to recover at a mysterious mountain resort, where some of the locals are not what they seem. They are, in fact, werewolves... and it turns out that her stalker, despite being shot full of holes by the cops, isn't actually dead, because he's one of them. 

The film is remembered mainly for two things: its brilliant "gotcha" ending, in which Karen attempts to reveal the existence of werewolves to the public in the most shocking manner possible; and the absolutely revolutionary special effects work of the renowned FX artist Rob Bottin. A protege of undisputed master of practical effects Rick Baker, Bottin cut his teeth with work on flicks like John Carpenter's The Fog and horror/exploitation classic Humanoids From the Deep before being hired on by Dante to achieve what was then thought to be impossible: an unblinking, onscreen werewolf transformation.

Bottin's transformation sequence in The Howling was nothing short of spectacular, but in an ironic twist of fate, it was largely overshadowed by a similar scene featured in An American Werewolf in London, which was released the same year. That film's absolutely excruciating transformation scene was achieved by none other than Baker, and while The Howling beat American Werewolf to theaters by a few months, the latter was a much bigger hit, raking in over three times the box office take of the former.

The Howling remains an underappreciated gem from Dante, and we have to agree with Hader — for Muschietti to offer up his take on the material would, indeed, be rad. After all, the filmmaker practically made fans forget all about the beloved 1990 miniseries adaptation of It, displaying a strong vision and a sure directorial hand. We certainly hope that some Tinseltown executive out there was listening when he made his comments, because we smell box office gold.

Stay tuned as we offer ongoing coverage of all the entertainment world-shattering goings-on at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.