If you were a fan of the Leprechaun franchise, consider yourself lucky with our Tuesday news! It’s been revealed that Lionsgate is on the hunt for their next pot of gold and listening to pitches for a follow-up movie in the, so far, eight film franchise. The first film, Leprechaun, landed on screens in 1993 and was billed as a horror comedy. The original film saw Warwick Davis, who was still riding high from the blockbuster that was Willow, and Jennifer Aniston, who had not quite broken into Hollywood and definitely hadn’t tasted the sweet, sweet success of Friends yet. In fact, Leprechaun marks the first feature film that Aniston starred in, which makes it a classic in our books.
The Mark Jones-written and directed film focuses on what else but a leprechaun (plus Jennifer Aniston)! Played by Warwick Davis, the creature of lore follows a man named Dan O’Grady (Shay Duffin) home from a vacation to Ireland after O’Grady snatched his pot o’ gold. Upon returning home, O’Grady realizes that he has a stowaway, but the ticked-off leprechaun has already killed his wife. Burying the gold and attempting to trap the leprechaun in hopes of destroying it, O’Grady doesn’t get to fully complete his mission and dies of a stroke before putting an end to the leprechaun’s reign of terror. Fast forward ten years and a man named J. D. Redding (John Sanderford) and his daughter, Tory (Jennifer Anniston), rent out the old O’Grady house for the summer. Unbeknownst to Tory and her father, the leprechaun is lurking in the basement just waiting for his chance to be set free. Spoiler – he is and he’s extra angry now! Searching for his lost pot of gold, the leprechaun will stop at absolutely nothing to get it back.
Along with Warwick Davis, Jennifer Aniston, Shay Duffy, and John Sanderford, the film also starred Ken Olandt, Mark Holton, Robert Hy Gorman, David Permenter, William Newman, Pamela Mant, and John Volstad. As for its horror-comedy themes, the flick definitely doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. It features the leprechaun riding a tricycle and a go-kart and also has him impersonating a cat among other things to trick the humans. There’s also a scene where he kills someone with a pogo stick, so it’s definitely a dark horror comedy.
Following its release, the good folks behind the film thought it would be a great idea to push forward and create several spinoffs, and boy were they right. Quickly gaining a cult following, fans told their friends about the wild and murderous antics of Lubdan the leprechaun and more were drawn to the sequels. Warwick Davis would go on to star in a total of six movies in the franchise with 2003’s Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood being his last. Unfortunately, Jennifer Aniston never returned – possibly because her career really skyrocketed around the time the follow-ups were happening.
The last Leprechaun film was in 2018 and now several filmmakers, including Repo: The Genetic Opera’s Darren Lynn Bousman, are heading to Lionsgate hoping to chase their own rainbow and bring the franchise back to life. In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, the Saw II-IV director shared his dream of picking up the franchise’s baton, commenting that he would want it to follow the original film closely and not go too off the rails, although a little off the rails is what’s fun about it. While he also mentioned his need for Warwick Davis to reprise his role, Jennifer Aniston’s name was strangely left out. Although a breath of fresh air given to the lungs of Leprechaun would be a great thing, we behest whoever picks up the torch to bring our beloved Jen back to the dark horror comedy.