The Pitch: The Leprechaun Reboot

Leprechaun Reboot

The purpose of this column/series is to emulate how a meeting would go between a studio executive and a person, a passionate person, with an idea (pitch) for a movie. In this case, or every case for that matter with regards to this series, yours truly is that aforementioned passionate person.

Now that was the polite way of putting it.

In reality, the uninspired suited gatekeepers, who hold all the green light power, need a blunt kick to their out-of-touch bloody skulls! Yeah, they say you get more with honey (being nice). And in order for some these over-paid clowns to buy into a cinematic concept, and then move forward with funding the production, being nice can be the ideal approach. But since the world, specifically the realm of Hollywood, is already fake enough with people constantly masquerading with tactical kindness, let’s just cut the crap and, ironically, have a black-and-white old-school chat. 

It’s not that Hollywood F’s it up all the time, but they sure do miss golden opportunities that can be quite baffling to the fans.

And that brings me to this week’s pitch/bitch: The Leprechaun Reboot.

BETTER LUCKY THAN GOOD

Leprechaun in the Hood

According to the insanely accurate Wikipedia web site (insert sarcasm), “Leprechaun is an American horror comedy franchise consisting of six films.”

For starters, the chronicling of how the bloody hell you folks churned out more than two of these suckers would probably make for a more frightening film than doing a re-whatever of the Leprechaun product. It really is scary what does and doesn’t get greenlit in mindless fantasy land.

Aside from that, if you people are serious about resurrecting this second-tier horror character, and keeping in mind the above quote, you must bury the word, “comedy.”

NO LAUGHING MATTER

file_203627_0_Leprechaun_Origins

If you believe such things, WWE Studios and Lionsgate are teaming up for an origin story. Warwick Davis, who played the sadistic troll-like gold-lover, is being replaced one of WWE’s own: an on-air character named Hornswoggle (ironically, a fun-loving leprechaun). While all 137 loyal fans of the cult, uh, whatever-is-three-steps-below classic entails, may be enraged by this choice, you clowns are making the proper move. In a perfect world, one wishes they could afford “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage to portray the diabolical magic-minnie, but let’s face it… they do not have enough gold (lots of irony early on).

Now whether you’re dead set on going with an origin story or not, this needs follow the tonal path recent horror re-re’s A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th executed. Audiences today find everything funny and it’s getting annoying. And unless your name is “Garth Algar,” no one is terrified by the ugly little green dude anymore.

Oh, and by the way, those two iconic rehashing’s scrounged up worldwide box offices that hit $115 million and $91 million, respectively. And let’s face it, the production budget for this shouldn’t get past the teens. 

That being said my predictable fake-friends; part of the problem is that no one is trying to deviate from the standard formula. It’s either sequels that generically go through the same motions as the initial installment or low-budget knock-offs that cut an intriguing trailer to earn opening weekend numbers. You people need to study the recent additions such as Maniac and V/H/S 2. Those genre gems are not reinventing the wheel as they are setting the tone using these attributes called “focus” and “intelligence.” In the later Elm Street sequels, “Freddy” became a side-show guided by actor Robert Englund and some horrific scripts. The 2010 re-imaging extinguished that tone right away thanks to casting a new Freddy and tweaking the storyline. Not saying it worked out in the way everyone wished for, but it definitely remedied the elements that pissed off die-hard horror fanatics.

GOLD MIND

file_203821_2_Movie_43_leprechaun

Everyone needs to be using their brain on this one, small and large alike. And I realize that castrating the comedy element out of this may have pissed in your Lucky Charms (couldn’t help it). But unless you guys can replicate something like Piranha 3D, there’s really no point in going for it. And Piranha 3DD proved that point.

So how do you make this scary and dare I say suspenseful?

It all starts with the opening 30 minutes. And if it’s going to be an origin story, the displaying of the Leprechaun’s realm, which would mean hiring a small-army of little peeps, could indirectly result in unintentional comedic moments. I cannot stress enough how mindful of the pitch and atmosphere you must be here children. The titular character has to be cold and callous, all while portraying the goblin meets Cheshire cat persona. Think “Freddy” from the 1984 original Nightmare on Elm Street and not “Chucky” from Child’s Play (mainly the sequels). And the world he basks in needs to be dark, gritty and ruthless.

Leprechaun Warwick Davis

The intro should also explain the fascination of why they covet their precious gold to death. And for fuck sake, no rainbows (no offense to the gay community)! Sorry, just had to come out and say it.

Beyond that, what you choose to do for the rest of the flick doesn’t really matter (because I’m not gonna piss on your leg and tell ya it’s raining… we ain’t expecting much from this). As long as the tone remains grim and dire, and the kills are mildly elaborate enough with some paying homage to the ones found in the like-minded creature-horror from that era (Wishmaster and Warlock), we may able to stomach this rehash. Translation: go old-school with set designs and gore tactics.

And speaking of those referenced B-movie guilty pleasures, even though this is a major stretch – but hell, you’re already taking one by rebooting something in which 4 out of 6 (crappy) installments went right to video – have one them show up near the end setting up the littlest crossover feature of all-time.

Then you have my permission to camp the shit out of that sucker Freddy vs. Jason style! 


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.