As the owner of a Masters Degree in Philosophy and Writing, Wes Craven always seemed like the most professorial horror film director you could ever imagine meeting. In fact, prior to entering the film industry he did briefly work as an English professor, and throughout his directing career he maintained a general air of the professor forever capable of teaching you something new. As such, it is not surprising to hear that he was creatively engaged and working on multiple different projects up until the end of his life, fitting for a man whose mind always seemed to be running in high gear. In April, he signed a first-look overall deal with Universal Cable Productions (UCP), owned by NBCUniversal, and successfully set up four different TV projects prior to his death. So, what were these projects, and what becomes of them now?
The People Under The Stairs Synopsis:
After a local girl disappears, questions are asked and secrets are exposed. As the story develops, century-old horrors are uncovered deep within an estate.
We Are All Completely Fine Synopsis:
Five survivors of real life horror movie scenarios are gathered together by a charismatic and charming psychologist, who creates a support group for them. What will happen when the psychologist unlocks the evils of her patients’ pasts?
The Disciples Synopsis:
A group of bounty hunters are hired by a highly important Senator to retrieve his daughter from a mysterious and religious cult. This cult isn’t on Earth – it’s on a colonised moon in the solar system, where the cult leader is worshipped like God. When the group arrive, they realise something has gone horribly wrong.
Not much is actually known about this project, which is in development with Federation Entertainment. I can’t tell if this is in any way related to the 1996 Sleepers movie or the 1991 TV series.
When it was first announced, The People Under the Stairs TV series adaptation was described by Craven’s fellow executive producer Michael Riesz (Unforgettable) as “Downton Abbey meets Amityville Horror.” Both We Are All Completely Fine and The Disciples are being adapted from literary source material, a Daryl Gregory novel of the same name for the former and a Steve Niles comic book series for the latter.
They were each far enough long in development that they will continue moving forward despite Craven’s death, as UCP revealed in the following statement, “Wes Craven was a master artist, a gentleman and it was our pleasure to work with him. It is our intention to bring to life all the projects Wes developed at Universal Cable Productions. Thankfully these projects have benefited greatly from his development and guidance since their inception. They will continue in his honor and spirit.”
Syfy backed up that sentiment in its own statement, “Wes Craven was an icon. Syfy mourns the loss of this great visionary who helped shape an entire generation of horror. We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with him and, along with Universal Cable Productions, will continue to develop The People Under the Stairs and We Are All Completely Fine — projects to which Wes had already contributed so greatly — in his spirit.”
Additionally, Craven wrote the “Thou Shalt Not Kill” segment of WGN America’s upcoming Ten Commandment miniseries. He was also supposed to direct it.