The Munsters are headed to the big screen.
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The Munsters is one of those pieces of pop culture that always seems to stick around in some form or another. Much like The Addams Family, the comical horror sitcom has managed to stay somewhat in the conversation over the years. However, the goofball family has only managed to hit the big screen once back in 1966 with Munster, Go Home!. However, some news has surfaced that says they could be headed back to theaters but under the auspices of a somewhat surprising director.
Charles Murphy of Murphy’s Multiverse is reporting that Rob Zombie is directing a new Munsters feature film that will shoot this May. Two of Zombie’s usual stable of actors have apparently been cast as the leads: Jeff Daniel Phillips will portray Herman Munster and Sheri Moon Zombie will Lily Munster, the two parents of the family. Murphy also says that Cassandra Peterson, better known by her character Elvira, will also be in the film in a supporting role.
It might seem shocking to hear that Rob Zombie is the one spearheading The Munsters, but it actually is something of a passion project for the musician-turned-filmmaker. Zombie once claimed that he had seen every episode of the series “at least 17 times,” so he certainly sounds like a legitimate fan. Not to mention that one of his hit songs, “Dragula” was directly influenced by a beloved episode of the original series where Grandpa Munster builds a drag racing car. As far as his credentials go, Zombie is assuredly a student and lifelong fan of the original show. This doesn’t sound like a work-for-hire gig for him, so that should at least be a good sign.
But, Rob Zombie has not exactly shown a ton of strength when it comes to the comedy audiences will expect from The Munsters. His only forays into the genre have been the animated movie The Haunted World of El Superbeasto and the fake trailer Werewolf Women of the S.S. that was included in the double-feature film Grindhouse. And we assume that The Munsters will be attempting to be accessible to most audiences. Will Rob Zombie be turning the property into an R-rated comedy for adults? Or will he be trying to show that he can make a movie for all ages?
This isn’t the first time that The Munsters have tried to see a revival in the modern age. The 2012 TV movie Mockingbird Lane was actually a pilot for a new version of the series. Unfortunately, it was rejected by the network and was never able to move past its pilot. Does that show that audiences aren’t really that interested in seeing the franchise make a return? Or was Mockingbird Lane too far from home base in terms of how it looked? Even the title Mockingbird Lane was clearly trying to distance itself from the recognizable facets of the original series.
We will have to wait and see how this new version of The Munsters shakes out under Rob Zombie’s guidance. Could it end up being a legitimately fun bit of horror-comedy? Or will this new take scare audiences away?