Sandwiched in between his dynamic debut with the James Caan-led “Thief” in 1981 and his adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel “Red Dragon” with “Manhunter” in 1986, filmmaker Michael Mann shot the famously troubled supernatural period piece “The Keep”.
The project was an adaptation of the novel by F. Paul Wilson and follows a group of Nazis in the very early 1940s who are assigned to guard a citadel in Romania’s Carpathian mountains.
When they unknowingly release an ancient demonic creature trapped within the walls, a creature that starts killing them off, they are forced to turn to an ailing Jewish historian for help to stop it. Scott Glenn, Jurgen Prochnow, Gabriel Byrne, Ian McKellen, Robert Prosky and W. Morgan Sheppard were among the film’s stars.
It’s a film that was compromised at every level. Now, Wilson has revealed that his book is getting a new adaptation with famed effects genius and frequent director of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Greg Nicotero onboard to helm the new take.
Wilson broke the news on Twitter, saying the deal finally happened after legal entanglements were worked out:
“Two days ago, after a year and a half of lawyering between the ‘purchaser’ and my side at ICM, I signed an option/purchase agreement with Greg Nicotero for the remake of The Keep. Greg is a longtime fan of the book, and he’s got the chops to do a worthy adaptation.”
Sadly no further information has been revealed at this time, including which streamer or network the project will set up at, let alone any filming start date.
Mann’s “The Keep” had issues in production with a gruelling thirteen-week shoot in Wales followed by nine weeks of reshoots. The visual effects supervisor died two weeks into post-production, leaving Mann to finish 260 shots of special effects himself. Paramount also refused to pay for reshoots of the ending, leading Mann to offer a compromised one.
Indeed, the film is mostly famous for reports that Mann’s original cut clocked in at around 210 minutes before he cut it down to a contractually obliged 120-minute cut. From there, the studio cut the movie down to 96 minutes against Mann’s wishes.
What’s left has plot holes and continuity errors galore, along with occasional jarring editing and an unfinished sound mix. It also boasts a score from the famed band Tangerine Dream.