Originally a series of novels, then later adapted into comic books from Avatar Press, it looks like Joe R. Lansdale’s The Drive-In stories are next headed to… well, in all likelihood, to the drive-in. This film has a big, themed premiere event practically coded into its DNA, though they’ll probably have to build a new Drive-In especially.
From Arrow in the Head‘s report, it isn’t entirely clear if the film will be based upon just the first Drive-In story, A B-Movie With Blood and Popcorn, or on the whole trilogy. The thrust of their report is about the project’s director:
I was having healthy beverages with FX King Greg Nicotero (of KNB) last night at Fantastic Fest and after I spiked his drink, he revealed to me that he has been attached to direct the feature film version of Joe R. Lansdale’s classic genre book The Drive-In.
That’s Greg Nicotero, the man making zombies for The Walking Dead, and a recurring collaborator with Romero, Rodriguez, Tarantino, Raimi and several more of Bleeding Cool’s favourites.
There’s been at least one attempt to film the Drive-In books before, and some of the pre-production artwork was published in the compendium volume of all three novels. Unfortunately, none of it seems to be online for sharing.
Nicotero recently made his directorial debut of the short film United Monster Talent Agency. It’s premiering at Fantastic Fest – if you’re there, maybe you can check out the shorts package tomorrow and report back? The festival’s program entry for Agency goes like this:
You’re likely already familiar with the classic monster films of Hollywood’s golden age. Now, learn how tough it was to get those monsters to behave on camera!
These monsters include King Kong, the creature from the Black Lagoon and the Invisible Man. Sounds great.
I’m fascinated by the prospect of one of the great, monster-loving FX men making his own horror features. I’ll be watching development of The Drive-In closely and bringing the big news to you.
Here’s the official blurb for Lansdale’s series of novels:
Friday night at the Orbit Drive-in: a circus of noise, sex, teenage hormones, B-movie blood, and popcorn. On a cool, crisp summer night, with the Texas stars shining down like rattlesnake eyes, movie-goers for the All-Night Horror Show are trapped in the drive-in by a demonic-looking comet. Then the fun begins. If the movie-goers try to leave, their bodies dissolve into goo. Cowboys are reduced to tears. Lovers quarrel. Bikini-clad women let their stomachs sag, having lost the ambition to hold them in. The world outside the six monstrous screens fades to black while the movie-goers spiral into base humanity, resorting to fighting, murdering, crucifying, and cannibalizing to survive. Part dark comedy, part horror show, Lansdale’s cult Drive-In books are as shocking and entertaining today as they were 20 years ago.