I didn’t pick up on this story when it first hit the press last year, but it recently came to my attention during a conversation with a friend of mine who, like me, is quite the fan of all things Vincent Price. When I posted the story yesterday of the new Scream Factory Vincent Price Collection, he reminded me that there have been some rumors that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were in talks with Warner Brothers to do a remake of THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES while they collaborated on the ridiculously awful DARK SHADOWS remake.
From The Huffington Post:
Rumor has it that [Tim Burton & Johnny Depp] will recreate the famous Vincent Price villain, Dr. Phibes. All horror fans recall 1971’s “The Abominable Dr. Phibes,” with Price as a mad doctor set on avenging the death of his wife. It was one of the late actor’s most beloved characterizations. (He reprised the role in “Dr. Phibes Rises Again.”)
Both Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have spoken of their fondness for Phibes. And also for Vincent Price. Indeed, Burton wrote the role of The Inventor in “Edward Scissorhands” specifically for Price, which was the actor’s final onscreen appearance. Now screenwriter and author William Goldstein has worked up a new Phibes novel, “Dr. Phibes: In the Beginning.” Goldstein is no stranger to the character, having penned similar novels when the two “Phibes” films were released in ’71 and ’72.
The book is in the hands of Warner Bros. and producer Jon Jashni, who has pitched it to Burton and Depp.
Could it happen? Who knows. The story was in HuffPo over a year ago now and I have yet to hear any further rumblings. Though it would be a stretch to say THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES is a serious horror film, I would hope that Burton and Depp would at least pay it the respect it deserves if they do go ahead on a remake, as opposed to the horror show (and not in a good way) that was the DARK SHADOWS remake. Be sure to check back for more updates on the project if it does get the green light!