Welcome to Script to Pieces, a recurring feature at Wicked Horror where we look at the best, most interesting and at times most unbelievable horror movies that never happened. Sometimes these will be productions that never came together at all, other times, they will be original incarnations that were completely different from what we wound up with. Each should be fascinating in its own way, because the stories of movies that never see the light of day can sometimes be even more interesting than the stories of those that do.
In the late 2000s, there was a desire to remake absolutely every horror film imaginable. They’d started out as major studio releases and by 2008, we were seeing just as many released direct-to-DVD. If the title was even vaguely recognizable, anything stood a good chance of seeing a remake. And that’s how we nearly got a remake of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!
Well, actually, it’s totally unclear how close this actually came to happening. It was first announced in 2008. M. Dal Walton III, producer of the remakes of The Wicker Man and Day of the Dead, announced that he would be producing the project through Emma/Furla Films.
At the same time, they announced that the film would be directed by two of the very first breakout YouTube stars, Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, creators of the insanely popular Ask a Ninja. This web-series was one of the first to prove that Internet contact could be truly successful, paving the way for a whole lot of what has followed since.but would take a more Evil Dead-esque sort of bent. Which admittedly could have been a lot of fun.
One of the things that first helped the project gain traction is that the creative team were certain that they could get George Clooney, who had one of his very first breakout roles in Return of the Killer Tomatoes, back for a cameo. That became a major selling point across various sites whenever news would drop about the project.
But nothing happened. In 2011, it was announced that virtually nothing had been done on the project, but that they were still looking to do it. Not only were Nichols and Sarine no longer involved, but hadn’t been involved for a few years. Even though it was never actually announced as dead, there has been no movement on it for the past several years.
Interestingly enough, though, there’s some bizarre remake talk that actually predates the official announcement in 2008. It’s unclear if this is at all related to the same producers, but in 2005, Adam Sandler noted that he had had several talks about the doing a remake of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. In the same interview, he also interestingly notes an upcoming Quentin Tarantino project called Inglourious Basterds. If I had to guess, I’d bet he was at one point up for the role that eventually went to Mike Myers. He also addressed an upcoming film with Christopher Walken that clearly turned out to be Click.
There’s so little detail on this project, so it’s hard to know exactly what happened to stop this from being made. It almost seems like no one, even the people holding the rights to make it, actually took it that seriously. That’s probably not the case though, because making a film is never not hard work and never something to do if you’re not serious about it.
Even still, it’s kind of amazing how everything was casually dismissed about the project when it was more-or-less announced that it just wasn’t going to happen. It’s kind of like the people responsible for making it still understood that a remake of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was probably not something that the world actually needed. But it’s a fun, ridiculous concept and could easily make for an off-beat, quirky horror comedy if treated the right way.
We’ll never know exactly what the Ask a Ninja team had in mind for the movie, but it’s easy to imagine that it would have at least been funny and hopefully—no pun intended—fresh. Since stepping away from the remake, both Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine have gone on to their own individual respective careers. While anything could happen, it doesn’t seem likely that Killer Tomatoes will get off the ground any time soon. And even if it ever does, it will likely be an entirely new take from an entirely new group of people.