In a move that makes perfect sense on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day (and makes no sense for any other reason at all…), Vince McMahon’s WWE professional wrestling promotion has announced it will partner with Lionsgate Films to resurrect the much-maligned Leprechaun franchise.
Bleacher Report says the companies will share production costs on the reboot of the horror franchise (and team up for another unannounced film), a new direction for McMahon’s company. Previously the WWE filmed, produced, and distributed their own product. The shift comes after the company lost millions trying to navigate the film industry on their own, a move CFO George Barrios has admitted was a “disaster.” Lionsgate will now shoulder some of the risk and handle distribution.
A Leprechaun reboot won’t be WWE Films’ first flirtation with horror. One of the company’s earliest features, See No Evil, featured Glenn “Kane” Jacobs as a slasher villain, and their upcoming No One Lives is also a fright flick.
The move to partner up with Lionsgate is just the latest revamp in the company’s approach. When WWE Films launched, the goal seemed to be to create low-budget movies featuring performances from their roster of wrestlers. However, they’ve recently begun to acquire films from festivals and other venues – titles that don’t have a wrestler anywhere to be found in the credits. Meanwhile, they continue to work on growing their home video business with franchises like The Marine.
The idea to reboot Leprechaun seems fairly questionable. The 1993 original is mostly memorable because it features an early performance from Jennifer Aniston. Subsequent sequels lost Aniston, but sent Warwick Davis’ evil Irish imp to outer space and the ‘hood (twice…). Even most genre fans don’t enjoy these films…
No word yet on who will star in or direct the feature, but it seems like a role tailor-made for Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl. In the meantime, get caught up on all the Leprechaun films by checking out our definitive guide to the highs and lows of the series.