Mike Newell to direct Day Of The Triffids film

News Simon Brew 24 Jan 2014 - 06:54

John Wyndham's sci-fi classic, The Day Of The Triffids, is heading back to the big screen...

Four Weddings And A Funeral and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire director Mike Newell has been hired to bring a new take on John Wyndham's The Day Of The Triffids to the big screen.

The film has been in developed for a while, with Ghost House Pictures putting the movie together, from a script by Neil Cross. That's the same Neil Cross behind Luther, who penned a couple of Doctor Who episodes in the last series run, and who also wrote Mama.

The Day Of The Triffids has, of course, enjoyed success on the screen before. A movie of the book was released in 1962, although it's arguably the BBC's television adaptation from 1981 that's best known (and that terrified this writer as a child). More recently, the BBC broadcast a two-part mini-series in 2009, that featured Dougray Scott.

There's no timescale that we know of on the new film, but we will keep you posted. Newell, incidentally, has also been linked for some time with a movie of The Box Of Delights. We spoke to him at the end of 2012 about it, but as it stood then, the script was in place, but he wasn't having any luck getting Hollywood producers to pay for it. We suspect, sadly, there's been no progress there.

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I wish they would look at a couple of other John Wyndham books, obviously the Midwich Cuckoos has been done but as far as I know the Kraken Wakes has never been adapted, maybe it's a financial thing, flooding the earth didn't work out too well for Kevin Costner.
The Chrysalids or Chocky could both make great films.

As long as it doesn't have Eddie Izzard surviving a plane crash by locking himself in the toilet with all the lifejackets...

Scared me witless as well. This feels like the right time for a remake.

"The Trouble with Lichen" might be a good one to tackle. Very relevant to our times, and wouldn't need a massive budget.

John Wyndham can be a bit dry sometimes, but the man was a visionary.

This is fine, but we need fast Triffids for this day and age. Some sort of Lovecraftian tentacle like root structure in which they latch on and pull them selves along or something. A Calla Lilly stuck to a crab isn't going to cut it.

Well, he's done British horror before with the Awakening (1980), the only film to combine Heston, Margoyles, Nadim Sawalha, growling seals, Egyptology, John off Fr. Ted and Omen-esque deaths.

That would never be acceptable on the big screen.

He'd have to get into a fridge.

I hope they stick to the time period in the original book rather than doing a modern world take on the story. Its still one of my favourite books, and I'm always happy to give it a re-read.

Great call on The Kraken Wakes, which could be done, like the book, with just a few eye-witness set pieces (the sea-tank attack in the carribean being the best example) rather than huge world-wide sequences. The whole key to Wyndhams books is the "cosy apocolypse" aspect of how a world-wide event affects just a few people - the excellent "On the Beach" by Neville Shute is another example.
However the important thing is for the director to have confidence in the text, for example the Triffids are slow and shambling and make weird knocking noises, not quick. What is chilling is their apparent lack of individiual intelligence but high collective intelligence (when they were testing the electric fences freaked me out) and I hope that this is brought out. A good story doesn't need lots of action sequences, just a few well-developed bits of high tension that pull the audience in (for example in the 2009 TV version there is a fantastic 10 minutes of Joly Ricahrdson escaping some triffids in a chinese restaurant rather than constant action). Alfonso Cuaron is the master of creating a world then putting in great sequences (the car attack in Children Of men being a great example) and Mike Newell is no slouch himself.
Wyndham needs careful treatment, it's not a James Bond film!

That BBC series was just brilliant...28 Days Later replaced the plants with zombies.

Would love to see the Chrysalids made into a film, I like Day of the Triffids but come on adapt some of JW's other books.

Bloody hell, first a Premiership Title and now this!

I hope they keep it British, with a UK actors, location and feeling to it. Don't Americanise it.

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