Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 2011 monster horror film, a remake of the classic Jack Arnold film Creature from the Black Lagoon, released in 1954. It is the first film to be released as part of the Universal Horror Revival series of films, with remakes of The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula in various stages of production.
Guillermo del Toro was hired to write a script in early 2010, and director Eli Roth was brought on to direct the film, with assistance from del Toro. Universal released a statement on their choice of Roth, saying that: "He is one of this generations premium horror directors, and the studio and the production team have ensured this new Creature is seemlessly faithful to the original as well as being modern in many degrees".
After production began in February 2010, Clint Eastwood, who played a small role in the original film's 1955 sequel, was announced to be playing the lead role of Dr. Carl Mayer. Doug Jones, known for his frequent work with del Toro, was cast as the Creature, Naveen Andrews was cast as Dr. David Raya, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as female lead Kathryn Lawrence. Josh Brolnin, Michael Biehn and Julia Adams, star of the original film, also appear in the film.
The film was released on December 20, 2011, and received generally positive reviews. It's success has further allowed Universal to continue their proposed revival of their old films, following Creature with The Invisible Man.
- Clint Eastwood as Dr. Carl Mayer (based on Dr. Carl Maia)
- Doug Jones as the Creature/Gill-man
- Naveen Andrews as Dr. David Raya (based on Dr. David Reed)
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kathryn Lawrence (based on Kay Lawrence)
- Josh Brolin as Dr. Ed Thompson
- Michael Biehn as Mark Williams
- Shanica Knowles as Lara
- Julia Adams as Kay Lawrence, Kathryn's mother and a tribute to Adam's original role
In December 2009 Universal Studios announced their plans to remake several of their notable 20th century horror films, beginning with 1954's Creature from the Black Lagoon. Noted director Guillermo del Toro was attached to the project in early 2010, calling it an honour to be part of "remaking such a classic film". Guillermo declined to director, though said he would gladly act as a second director.
Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, Francis Ford Coppola, and Clint Eastwood were all approached in January 2010 to direct the film, with Roth agreeing. Eastwood was later approached for the lead role as Dr. Mayer, and agreed to do the film, expressing his excitement and honour to various sources.
Roth and del Toro both agreed that though this film was a remake, it should evoke heavily from the original. Roth said that using CGI would be a foolish move, and said del Toro's unique design would be present in the film, as well as limited CGI. The Gill-man was designed by del Toro alumni David Marti, Montse Ribe and Xavi Bastida, and was partially inspired by the character of Abe Sapien, from del Toro's Hellboy films, as well as the original creature. Derek Mears would have originally portrayed the role, and a costume was designed to evoke a more muscular and menacing creature. When Mears had to resign due to filming conflicts, Doug Jones was brought on the Gill-man design was largely re-done, to suit the original film.
Roger Ebert said of the film: "While not as original or iconic as its 1954 predecessor, this new Creature is full of great movie features; brilliant effects, great acting and finally a re-designed monster that honours the original. By staying true to the original and not delving into popcorn fodder Roth and del Toro's remake of the Universal classic serves its purpose well, and is a fitting remake if there ever was one". Ebert gave the film 3 and a half stars.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine was highly appraising of the film, listng at #5 on his Best of 2011 List: "Finally a remake worthy of its namesake, and its sum! Nostaligcally faithful and still modernly unique, this film is how remakes should be done, with respect for the original as well as adding new elements. There's no overuse of CGI, del Toro's trademark design is here, as is Roth's penchant for the disturbing, it all comes together with some great performances all round. An excellent movie, flaws minor, and probably the best remake in a long time".