A fresh reboot of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been in the works for some time, with Legendary Pictures behind the new take on the Tobe Hooper classic. Up until today, it appeared that the filmmaking talent and vision behind the picture was pretty settled, including directors Ryan and Andy Tohill, and a 60-year-old Leatherface. However, Legendary have now pulled the Tohills from the project, and scrapped what’s been shot so far, with the film set to begin shooting from scratch.
The production had already completed its first week of filming in Bulgaria when Legendary made the decision, with Deadline citing the old stand-by of “creative differences” as the reason for the move. The studio haven’t wasted time in putting in a new director, though, with David Blue Garcia now taking the reins. Garcia is best-known as a cinematographer, and previously made the micro-budget feature Tejano.
According to Deadline’s sources, the abrupt change reportedly came after Legendary executives saw some initial footage and decided it wasn’t what they had in mind. The shooting schedule will therefore restart, presumably still working off Chris Thomas Devlin’s screenplay, which will continue the story of the 1974 original film, rather than completely revamp the property.
You have to feel sorry for the Tohills, who were brought on to Chainsaw due to their exciting ideas for breathing life into the source material, and will now have to deal with the ignominy of being canned from a high profile project. Fede Álvarez of Evil Dead fame is still producing, though, with a cast including Elsie Fisher, Sarah Yarkin, Jacob Latimore and Moe Dunford.
We’d hope that there isn’t too much bad blood over the switch in directors, and that the latest instalment in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series can still deliver on its goal of setting up a whole new Leatherface franchise. Given that production is now underway (again), we’d expect to see this one coming to theaters in 2021, COVID-19 delays permitting.