Buenos noches, beautiful. Columbia Pictures is heading back to the Amazon with a big-budget reboot of Anaconda.
So why reboot a notoriously awful 1997 B-movie? Well, somehow, Anaconda is actually one of the most profitable properties in Sony’s (which owns Columbia) catalog. No, really. The original, which starred Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, and Owen Wilson, was completely panned by critics. But audiences bought in to the ridiculous jungle horror, leading to a $136.8 million box office on a $45 million budget.
And it kept going. A theatrical sequel dubbed The Hunt for the Blood Orchid made about $50 million in 2004. In the wake of the Sharknado craze, further sequels ended up on the Sci-Fi Channel, including Anaconda 3: Offspring starring David Hasselhoff. There was even a crossover with the crocodile-based Lake Placid franchise with 2015’s Lake Placid vs. Anaconda.
There have been five Anaconda films in all, so there’s clearly an appetite for these stories about hungry giant snakes. For the upcoming “reimagining,” the studio is looking to take a “Meg-style” route (via The Hollywood Reporter). That means upgrading from an inexpensive B-movie production to an event tentpole with an inflated budget.
Though no producer or director is attached yet, Snow White and the Huntsman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles scribe Evan Daugherty has been tasked with guiding the snake back into the water. Not the best pedigree, frankly, but this project is gunning for intentionally outsized, absurd action-horror — so long as it’s kinda fun, it’ll be a win.