American International Pictures Plots 10 Remakes From Library
Producer Lou Arkoff, son of the late Samuel Z. Arkoff, co-founder of American International Pictures, is joining forces with writer/producer Jeff Katz and former ICM agent Hal Sadoff to remake 10 of the 25 titles from AIP’s library.
The trio will initially remake Girls in Prison, Viking Women & the Sea Serpent, The Brain Eaters, She-Creature, Teenage Caveman, Runaway Daughters, The Undead, War of the Colossal Beast, Cool & The Crazy and Day The World Ended. Taking a cue from Marvel Studios, the AIP films will be re-imagined as a single shared movie universe with a recurring cast of antiheroes, monsters and bad girls. The 10 films will be shot together, back-to-back, beginning in the fall. This new effort also will extend to licensing, gaming, online media and other ancillaries.
Founded in 1954 by Samuel Arkoff and James H. Nicholson, AIP specialized in low-budget, independent films aimed at the teenage audience. AIP produced or distributed more than 500 films during its existence, including the Beach Party series with Frankie Avalon and the late Annette Funicello as well as the early films of director Roger Corman. In 1979, AIP merged with Filmways, which later was folded into Orion Pictures. Currently, the rest of the library is owned by MGM, Orion’s successor.
Lou Arkoff has produced remakes of AIP titles for Showtime's Rebel Highway series in the 1990s. He also remade a movie series of AIP creature titles for HBO/Cinemax in the early 2000s with Stan Winston.
"The AIP spirit was all about innovation and giving new, young talent a place to create," Arkoff said. "We are now using that independent spirit and our library of classic titles to create something brand new for the modern media model, with a coordinated social effort to accelerate interest in these properties. Our goal is to engage young audiences and drive the spirit of the times with the same excitement that fueled these titles decades ago”
Katz, repped by UTA, is a writer/producer and former studio executive who has worked on such films as Shoot ‘Em Up, Freddy vs. Jason, Wolverine and Snakes on a Plane and has written comic books for DC Comics, Top Cow and Dynamite. Katz has written all 10 movies in the AIP series.
Sadoff, a financial adviser to the global media industry, most recently was the head of ICM’s international and independent film group.