The story of the making of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is being turned into a dark comedy. Kirk Shaw’s Ambitious Entertainment and Yvette Yates Redick and Shaun Redick’s Impossible Dream Entertainment are teaming to turn the book Chain Saw Confidential, which was written by original Leatherface actor Gunnar Hansen, into a film.
Tobe Hooper‘s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an iconic horror film that seemed like something genuinely subversive and terrifying when it arrived in the 1970s. The film was made on a shoestring budget and went on to be a massive hit that we’re all still talking about today. Now, the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the film is becoming a movie itself. Deadline is reporting that Gunnar Hansen’s book Chain Saw Confidential “is being mounted as a dark comedy,” and that the book has been adapted by David Dubos, and “purports to bring to the screen all the fun, horror and craziness from the making of the original seminal 1974 Tobe Hooper-directed horror film that cost $140,000 and grossed north of $30 million, spawning knock offs and numerous noisy and bloodier franchise extensions. Robert Abramoff is executive producing and they expect to begin casting quickly.”
Hansen was the actor who played Leatherface in the original film, and his book was first published in 2013. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
The original 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre seized the imaginations of audiences and critics alike. A controversial cult sensation recognized by Total Film as the greatest horror movie ever made, it’s been shown at Cannes, briefly banned in England, and included in the permanent collection of New York’s MoMA. This fascinating literary memoir of the making of the film comes from the utterly unique perspective of Gunnar Hansen, the actor who played the chain saw-wielding Leatherface. A critically acclaimed poet and author, Hansen tells the real story of the film, debunking myths, giving behind-the-scenes details, and offering insights on the film’s reception and our enduring fascination with the horror genre today.
Turning this into a dark comedy has a lot of potential, and I’m curious to see who ends up getting cast to play director Tobe Hooper, as well as the rest of the cast and crew. And “dark comedy” is probably the right approach here, since by most accounts, filming Texas Chain Saw Massacre wasn’t the most enjoyable experience.
“Everyone in the cast and crew was synchronized, but the work was very demanding,” Hooper said in 2014. “At the end of filming, everyone hated me. It took years to reestablish those friendships but I knew what I needed to get. So all of the actors became part of this circling energy that had a lot of tension in it. And we were so isolated working on that set in Round Rock. So if this energy starts to spin fast enough, it will start to grow in the atmosphere from sky to ground. And that’s what I was trying to achieve.”
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