Creature From The Black Lagoon News

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 11th, 2008

Film historian Tom Weaver is passing along the sad news to celebrity obituary sites that the Writers Guild has confirmed the death of Creature from the Black Lagoon scripter Arthur Ross on November 11, 2008.

Arthur Ross is credited as the major author of the screenplay for Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and a writer on The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

This significant death of the scriptwriter for this classic movie comes at the same time there are more leaks regarding a remake.

Arthur’s son, Gary Ross, is now the writer and producer of a new production of Creature From The Black Lagoon, which is due to begin shooting in 2009. Gary Ross is best known for directing the films Pleasantville and Seabiscuit.

Writer George Roush, during an exclusive interview at Latinoreview, actually confirmed what many of us here know, the origin of the first film is via a “darling of cryptozoology.”

You will recall that the underlying plot of the original film is of a geology expedition uncovering on a Amazonian riverbank a fossil of a reptilian skeletal hand with webbing between the fingers. The scientists feel this demonstrates a link between land and aquatic animals.

Gary Ross said: “It’s not like the original, it’s not, my Dad wrote the original, so it’s not a reference to what the original is. We take it sort of seriously. We found some scientific under pinnings for it, which my Dad actually felt in the original. In fact, he based it on a lung fish that was found around that time. So a lot of that was his.”

What the younger Ross is referring to, of course, is the media frenzy in 1952 caused by the search for and discovery of the “second” coelacanth. The coelacanth is the inspiration for Creature from the Black Lagoon, which was released in 1954.

Part of the recent history of the movie’s development, in October 2005, is that Breck Eisner signed on as director for the new version of Creature from the Black Lagoon. Gary Ross said in March 2007 that the movie’s origin would be reinvented, with the creature being the result of a pharmaceutical corporation polluting the Amazon.

The film was delayed by the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike, and once Eisner finishes filming another project, he will begin filming Creature from the Black Lagoon in Manaus, Brazil and on the Amazon River in Peru. Eisner continues to rewrite the script, which will be a summer blockbuster full of “action and excitement, but [still] scary.”

Eisner spent six months designing the new incarnation of the Gillman with Mark McCreery (Jurassic Park designer). The director said the design was “very faithful to the original, but updated”, and that the Gillman will still be sympathetic.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

11 Responses to “Creature From The Black Lagoon News”

  1. baronvondoren responds:

    With the terrible job that Hollywood has done bringing back the Universal Monsters (Van Helsing, The Mummy, etc.), I’m a bit worried about this project, but at least Gary Ross is involved, giving it a link to the original. And with The Wolfman remake looking like a quality project, maybe they will get it right. The Creature From The Black Lagoon is one of my favorite films of all time. In fact, I have an entire guest bathroom dedicated to it, with signed photos from the cast and other memorabilia decorating the place. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a good old fashioned monster movie with crypto themes!

  2. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Boy, there’s an angle no one ever used before; a pharmaceutical corporation polluting a river. (Yawn)

    Isn’t there a fresh thought in Hollywood anymore? Say some work akin to Arthur Ross’s perhaps? His invention was compelling, good story telling, and not a contrived hackneyed rehash of a worn out theme.

    I was excited about the re-make until I got to the end of the story. You know, maybe the sci-fi channel will make that flick and add it to their list of “B” creature features.

  3. MattBille responds:

    Creature spawned by pollution – ugh. Is this a remake of “Creature from the Black Lagoon” or “Prophecy”? (OK, that South Korean film last year did well with this premise, but still, the scientifically startling “missing link” of the original Creature was a better idea.)

    I hope the remake won’t go wild with preachy eco-lessons and digital effects. That what seems to be happening with the remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” The original movie worked so well because it was effectively a two-character drama, with effects that were cool for their day but were never allowed to overwhelm the story.

  4. DavidFullam responds:

    YAPR-Yet Another Pointless Remake.

  5. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I also share the feeling of disenchantment over the twist of corporation pollution being the origin of the creature. Not because I resent preachy films— I loved Wall*E!— but because it feels unoriginal. I would have preferred a more cryptozoological angle 🙁

  6. graybear responds:

    So instead of the Creature, we’re going to get Pharmaco-man? Considering that man’s pollution of the earth creating monsters has been used for everything from the Toxic Avenger to Godzilla to Jimmy Neutron, I’m betting the rest of the film won’t be any more original or creative.

    Remember the remake of Planet of the Apes, where the different ape species were treated as if they were merely separate races (or maybe just different hair coloring preferences)? And how about that latest Superman film, where Supes becomes an absent father? Or ANY Tarzan movie?

    Thank God they’re still leaving John Carter of Mars alone!

    Sorry about that, it just irks me to see stupidity and ego taking the place of real creativity. But really, some of these characters have been popular for nearly a hundred years and the original stories are still compelling. Why can’t Hollywood simply film the various adventurers as they were originally written and not “re-imagine” them or film their own “interpretations,” which are always far less enjoyable?

    I always liked the Creature. I will be sorry to see him (it?) crippled and maimed as I fear is likely. It’s said that Margaret Mitchell, who wrote Gone With The Wind said when she signed away her movie rights to the book that she hoped by the time Hollywood was through with her book, that the North would still have won the Civil War. I guess such meddling is just tradition by now. Pity.

  7. Dravenguild responds:

    I concur, many Hollywood films are now just brainless dimwitted rehashes of abused genres and cliches or movies that we all loved and grew up with, which are now going the way of the Indiana Jones, Alien, Predator, and other such franchises seem to be.

    But I have a theory that imagination and innovation will soon return to hollywood, after students and great pioneers of the field start to flood these corporate money bags stagnant cesspool of awful films there will be justice.

    I am saddened that times are so very bleak, I’ll admit i’m a romanticist of the past and it pains me that the present is so dull and unimaginative.

  8. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I have good news & bad news for you, graybear:

    Bad News: ‘John Carter of Mars’ is currently planned to be made into a movie. I think I read somewhere the planned release is 2011 or something.

    Good News: It’s made by the good people of Pixar, the last bastion of good film-making in major motion pictures. And Brad Bird (‘The Incredibles’, ‘Iron Giant’, ‘Rattatouille’) was said to be the one to direct it. So I’m hopeful about that one 🙂

  9. graybear responds:

    Red_Pill_Junkie, I had heard about the possible John Carter movie, but I had heard that it had been shelved in favor of the new Star Trek movie. Which will probably also suck (look at what they did to Enterprise). Maybe Pixar would do a good job, but I do have my doubts. If John Carter is going to be animated, just how authentic will the admittedly blood and guts, war torn Martian landscapes, sword duels and battles which Burroughs describes as heaping up the dead be allowed to be? I’ll go see it if it comes out, but I’m not hopeful.

    Kaor, y’all.

  10. MattBille responds:

    It’s OK to do a remake if you can do something original with it while staying true to the spirit. However, what fits this criteria is, and will always be, to some extent a matter of individual opinion.

    I thought that, while Greystoke and Disney’s Tarzan took liberties with the original stories (a lot of them, in Disney’s case) both were good movies in their own right. Jackson’s King Kong was an affectionate homage with a terrifically-realized Kong – the film would have been truly great if Jackson had been able to restrain himself a little. (Just how many hours did those pilots spend intermittently machine-gunning the ape before he finally fell off the building? Oh, and in case Jackson cares, I would have cast Bruce Willis in place of Jack Black.)

    It is possible that the Creature film will still be worthwhile. Like all good cryptozoologists, we’ll wait for the evidence.

  11. Goodfoot responds:

    MattBille, that “South Korean film” was the excellent The Host, featuring the great Scott Wilson as the indifferently polluting scientist! I love that film!

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