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A prequel to the original TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE has been taking shape for a good while now. The idea of getting to see a young Leatherface should offer all kinds of possibilities. The film will be titled LEATHERFACE and will presented as a mystery of sorts about a few teenage psychopaths that escape from a mental hospital, one of whom grows up to be Leatherface. It certainly has grabbed the attention of fans worldwide.
With the project having wrapped last year, re-shoots finally taken care, and a solid R-rating given from the MPAA, fans are curious as to what is in store for us.
LEATHERFACE writer Seth Sherwood recently spoke with iHorror about the upcoming prequel, first speaking about continuity:
“What we’re doing is going back and making a prequel to the original film. The current “canon” continuity, chronologically, will be “Leatherface”, the original “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”, and then “Texas Chainsaw 3D”.
On a possible Chop Top sequel:
“Personally, I think Leatherface has had the spotlight for a long time. He was the one with the chainsaw, so he took center stage. But honestly, the family is full of lovable weirdos, freaks, and sickos, any one of which could carry a movie. If the opportunity arose, I’d love to work Chop-Top into the current continuity. Who doesn’t love Chop-Top? I know I’m not the only person that would like to see a movie about Grandpa Sawyer. He started the family on their path, what was he like as a young man?”
Sherwood previously offered some insight into what is to come saying:
"When I was writing Leatherface, I tried really hard to make it feel like part of the franchise on the whole— which is actually not easy when you consider continuity was pretty loose between the original trilogy and two remakes that followed it. Chainsaw films aren’t exactly a perfectly shared universe, but at the same time, they are all undeniably Chainsaw at their heart. To tap into that I tried to pay subtle homage to all the films in some way; I wanted to tap into some of the key ideas and tropes so that it would feel familiar, but at the same time, go in a different direction."
Adding how LEATHERFACE will tie into the other films:
"Tying to the original was the easiest— in terms of continuity I needed to dovetail my story in that general direction. My take on Leatherface was inspired directly by how Tobe and Gunnar described his mindset (or lack thereof). The Sawyer Farm is a key location. These connections were more literal.
From Chainsaw 2 I borrowed a few things. Obviously, the character names. Drayton, Nubbins, the Sawyer surname— were all discovered in the sequel. Mainly though, the idea of a corrupt, mentally unstable Texas Ranger on a vendetta against the Sawyers gave birth to Hartman, the real villain of my story. Like Lefty, he’s out for revenge against the Sawyers over something they did to his family. The character Clarice started as a pretty clear Chop Top homage, though along the way we decided to develop her into being more original. That said, when you see her, you can see a little of that DNA in there.
The original Leatherface, Chainsaw 3, took the idea of the backwoods isolation of the original and exploded it tenfold. I always think of the locations of this film— the scrub brush filled badlands and remote roadside outposts as feeling like another world— a dark fairy tale land in some way. To be reminded, no, we’re just lost in Texas, is awesome. I filled my story with similar locations to hopefully capture a similar vibe."
Sherwood went on to talk about the TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D connection as well saying:
"While I didn’t find any thematic inspiration from 3D, this is from the same team, so we decided early on that we needed some ties. Those come mainly from using names to establish a little continuity. The corrupt Mayor in 3D is the son of Stephen Dorff’s character. The cameo by Marilyn Burns as Sawyer matriarch Verna is the character played now by Lili Taylor."
He then spoke of how the film will give us a good look at how the Leatherface character becomes the icon that we all know:
"Leatherface is very much about identity. Gunnar Hansen said that Leatherface was devoid of identity beyond doing what his family told him, or what his mask might define. Instead of starting Jed Sawyer as a gibbering simpleton, I was more interested in taking somebody that could almost pass as normal and then explore how they could be reduced to nothing. Leatherface doesn’t know who he is, he doesn’t remember his family— but the saw becomes integral to restoring that… because the saw IS family!"
Directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury previously described the upcoming film as:
“a brutal and nihilistic road movie that we hope will surprise and delight the fans…”
The filmmaking duo also previously stated about the upcoming prequel:
"We’re actually more connected to the Tobe Hooper’s TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. The main difference with THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING is that we go back further in the character’s origins, telling a part of its teenage years. Basically, we could define our movie as a naturalist, brutal and disillusioned road-movie, with a quite new narrative structure in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre universe…"
LEATHERFACE will star Angela Bettis, Stephen Dorff, Jessica Madsen, Sam Coleman, Sam Strike, James Bloor, Vanessa Grasse, Lili Taylor, Finn Jones, and Julian Kostov.
Seth M. Sherwood penned the script for the prequel to the original 1974 horror classic. Millennium Films is financing the project and producing the movie is Carl Mazzocone, along with Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman as executive producers.
"A young nurse is kidnapped by a group of violent teens who escape from a mental hospital and take her on a road trip from hell. Pursued by an equally deranged lawman out for revenge, one of these teens is destined for tragedy and horrors that will destroy his mind, molding him into the monster we now call Leatherface."
LEATHERFACE will be released by Lionsgate. Remember that the film is now planned to be released this October.
We will continue to keep you updated.