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AHS: Murder Coven, a Twist to Suspiria’s (Re)Casting, and Cinema’s Best Scares

By  · Published on November 1st, 2016

Movie News After Dark

The day’s top headlines in bite-size portions.

Hopefully by the time this post finds you you’re happily sated in the warm embrace of a solid sugar high. But in case costume prep kept you from some of the day’s bigger stories, here’s the rundown:

Much ado has been made lately of the crossover aspects of American Horror Story, with series co-creator Ryan Murphy hinting at a unified thread running through all of the seasons, six to date. So far we’ve seen at least seven characters crossover from one season to another ‐ Pepper the microcephalic woman is a ward in Asylum and an attraction in Freak Show, and two other characters from the former season, Dr. Arden and Sister Mary Eunice, also appear briefly in the latter; Marcy the Realtor from Murder House shows up again in Hotel, as does disturbed abortionist Dr. Charles Montgomery; Queenie from Coven (Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe) also turns up in Hotel, as does Sarah Paulson’s psychic Billie Dean Howard from Murder House; and just today Murphy revealed that another Paulson character, Lana Winters, the reporter from Asylum, will be making an appearance before the latest season, Roanoke, is finished ‐ but according to news revealed by Murphy this weekend, the crossing over is just getting started.

Speaking at Entertainment Weekly’s Popfest Murphy revealed plans to do an entire crossover season with characters from season 1, Murder House, and season 3, Coven:

“There will be characters from Murder House and characters from Coven together … I’ve [already] started going to actors from both of the seasons, quietly, saying, ‘I think in this window, if you could fit us in.’ So yeah, it’s fun. It’s weird.”

For my money seasons 1 and 3 are the best of the series to date so if he’s going to cross any of them, those are the two. And in terms of overlapping casts, they’re also a pretty good match. Sarah Paulson is in both, as is Jessica Lange, but both have larger roles in season 3, and [SPOILER] Lange is dead by the end of Coven. Evan Peters has the opposite situation ‐ he’s in both as well, but dies at the end of season 1, so is free to continue his role from season 3. Confused yet? Don’t worry, it’ll get more so before all is said and done.

Just how Murphy plans to connect these two seasons is unknown and no doubt will remain that way until the last five minutes of the last episode of whatever he calls this hybrid, but the one thing we do know is this is not what’s planned for season 7, which so far is the only one for which the series has been renewed. So if Murder Coven is going to happen, AHS needs to be re-upped first. Time and FX will tell.

I can’t think of a remake currently coming down the pipeline that is more polarizing than director Luca Guadagnino’s (A Bigger Splash, I Am Love) upcoming take on Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria; either you’re excited to see the film adapted to today’s more liberal and realistic genre standards, or you’re mortified that someone would deign to attempt and recreate what is already pitch-perfect horror. I myself, despite being a ravenous devotee of the original film, am attempting to withhold my judgment until I see this new version, which I’m partly able to do based on the fact that Guadagnino is retaining the original’s temporal setting in the 1970's as well as the basic plot ‐ American dancer arrives at a European company as another dancer goes missing; the longer the American is there the more she’s convinced there’s a dark underbelly to the place. Also helping is the bit of casting done so far: Dakota Johnson (50 Shades of Grey, Need For Speed) as Suzy Bannion, the American dancer, who brings to the role the perfect doe-eyed innocence it requires, Tilda Swinton as the school’s artistic director, who just brings perfection, and Chloe Grace Moretz in an as-yet unnamed role, perhaps the very important but briefly-seen missing girl.

As of today, though, there’s a bit of casting that is the most exciting and mysterious yet: Jessica Harper, who played Bannion in the Argento original, has been added as “Anke.” Unfortunately, that’s all we know. Whether this is a respectful cameo or a full-on supporting role is yet to be seen, though bet on the former as Harper hasn’t acted in a feature since 2002’s Minority Report. Guadagnino’s Suspiria is planned for a 2017 release, the same year Argento’s original turns 40.

The Disney live-action train keeps rolling through the Mouse House’s animated catalog and adding titles to be reimagined for all three dimensions. Already we’ve seen Maleficient, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Pete’s Dragon ‐ each of which was well-received ‐ and in various stages of production now are live versions of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mary Poppins (Returns), Mulan, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Well, as of today you can add another name to the list, and like some of those early titles, Disney is reaching way back into the past for one of their most beloved properties: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

No director or star has been attached, but the script is being written by Erin Cressida Wilson (The Girl on the Train) with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, Mary Poppins Returns) on songwriting duties.

This isn’t the first live Snow White by far. Recent years have seen a pair of productions: Mirror Mirror with Lily Collins and Julia Roberts, and Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron. Those ain’t Disney though, so expect this version to earn a jillion dollars.

And lastly, to help you get in the Halloween mood, or perhaps to cap it off, enjoy this massive supercut of the 40 best jump scares in horror history, courtesy of Burger Fictionit’s hopefully the most frightening nine minutes of your day.

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