Hammer Films is back from the grave, but what does the future hold for the iconic British studio? Last month, the studio released DoctorJekyll, an Eddie Izzard-starring reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It remains to be seen what’s coming up next, but Hammer’s new Chairman & CEO, John Gore, has teased remakes of some classic properties.
“It’s an honor, a privilege, and a responsibility to own Hammer now going forward,” he said in the documentary Hammer A.D. 2023 — The Past, Present and Future of Hammer Films. “Something I loved as a kid is now something that I hope I have the skill and wherewithal to take forward to future generations in terms of remaking some of the things that happened before, in the style of what happened before. I want to know there will be kids out there who watch things as I watched those and go, ‘Gosh, that’s fun, and it’s exciting.’” And they’re not terrified; they’re thrilled. It’s a different kind of scare. It’s not The Exorcist; it’s a different kind of feeling, and I want to bring that back.”
It’s clear that Gore and his team are setting out to make films in the original Hammer style, which is exciting as there are many horror fans who yearn for those glory days. Then again, those words do hint towards some classics being given a makeover. Dr. Jekyll, the comeback project, suggests this too, as Stevenson’s tale is familiar to Hammer Films. The original iteration of the studio made The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, after all, so it’ll be interesting to see if more old stories are resurrected, repurposed, or remade.
Will we will the studio resurrect Dracula, Frankenstein, or The Mummy franchises next? Perhaps lesser-known gems such as The Gorgon or The Witches will be given a modern polish? Only time will tell, but there’s no denying that the future of British horror is more intriguing than it has been in quite some time.