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David Cronenberg's first feature film, 'Shivers,' is being remade

David Cronenberg's first feature film, 'Shivers,' is being remade

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One of David Cronenberg's earliest films, Shivers, is getting a remake. According to Variety and others, the new film was announced at Toronto International Film Festival, which also featured a special screening of the original 1975 thriller. The remake is being handled by producers Jeff Sackman and Michael Baker, with filming possibly starting next February. Rie Rasmussen, an actress, filmmaker, and Quentin Tarantino protege whose first feature film Human Zoo came out in 2009, will direct, and the film will be written by Ian Driscoll, who has penned a series of low-budget movies including Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter and Smash Cut, starring then-adult actress Sasha Grey.

The first Shivers was Cronenberg's feature film debut, exploring his ever-present themes of body horror and social interaction with a deadly parasite that spreads by inducing its victims into frenzied, promiscuous sex. It become infamous when critic Robert Fulford panned it as repulsive and disturbing in a piece titled "You should know how bad this film is. After all, you paid for it." Fulford and others criticized Cronenberg particularly for funding the movie through the state-funded Canadian Film Development Corporation.

Now, the new producers say they want to update it for a world with new technological realities and social mores, though it's not totally clear what that means. Deadline writes that now, "in a post-HIV world, where people interact through screens rather than skin, the parasite breaks down those digital barriers," which makes it sound like nothing so much as a crossover between Shivers and Videodrome, yet another upcoming remake of a classic Cronenberg title.