Sam Raimi Remaking The 70s Most Underrated Horror Movie

Sam Raimi is remaking the 1978 ventriloquist dummy horror film Magic.

By Matthew Creith | Published

In American director Sam Raimi’s career behind the camera, he has gone from helming arthouse horror films to crime dramas and on to superhero-defining blockbusters that have seemed to stand the test of time. His work has included frequent collaborations with actors like Bruce Campbell in the Evil Dead series of films, as well as spearheading projects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe like this summer’s hit film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness starring Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Now, it appears that Sam Raimi is set to remake the classic 1970s horror movie about a ventriloquist and his evil dummy, Magic, directing the film while Don’t Worry Darling’s Roy Lee is going to be set up as the producer on the project.

According to a report by MovieWeb, director Sam Raimi will be rebooting the psychological horror film Magic, which originally debuted in 1978 and starred Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, and Rocky actor Burgess Meredith. The 1978 version of the film is an underrated effort that was directed by Jurassic Park star Richard Attenborough based on the novel and adapted screenplay by William Goldman, although its cult following in the years since its release has added to the mystique of the movie.

The plot of the film concerns a ventriloquist named Corky who becomes subservient to his own dummy, while he simultaneously attempts a romantic relationship with his high school sweetheart, Peggy Ann, which helped to make it one of the more well-received horror movies about a doll during that time period.

sam raimi magic

Before Sam Raimi takes on directing duties on the remake of Magic, it might be worth noting that the film was a financial success when it was released in theaters, however, it is seen as an underrated horror movie by today’s standards. Magic went on to gross over $23 million upon its debut in November 1978 against a budget of $7 million.

The movie was one of Richard Attenborough’s early works as a director, prior to his critically acclaimed 1982 film Gandhi starring Sir Ben Kingsley in the titular role, which earned Attenborough the Academy Award for Best Director and Kingsley the Academy Award for Best Actor.

But Sam Raimi’s work in the horror film genre has most likely prepared the director to take on a project such as the remake of Magic, particularly because he seems to understand how to blend comedy and horror in an entertaining fashion.

The Evil Dead franchise has seemingly prepared Raimi for the genre ever since he started directing The Evil Dead in 1981, progressing into a career that brought him into the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in the early aughts. He has spiced up his resume with crime thrillers like 1998’s A Simple Plan with Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton, as well as the western The Quick and the Dead, but the director always seemed to be at home with supernatural horror flicks like his attempts with The Gift and Drag Me to Hell.