Billy Ray conjures “Wife” remake

Yet another Hollywood horror remake is in the works: Hollywood Reporter reveals that writer-director Billy Ray (BREACH) has been signed to adapt the Fritz Leiber novel Conjure Wifeto the screen. The book has been adapted three time previously, including the 1962 classic NIGHT OF THE EAGLE (known as BURN, WITCH, BURN in the U.S.), which was scripted by Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont. The other two versions are less well known: 1944’s WEIRD WOMAN and 1980’s WITCHES’ BREW (a film so bad it was shelved without being released). The film will be a co-production between United Artists and Studio Canal, which owns the rights to the property.

The story follows a New England professor who is shocked to learn that his wife practises witchcraft; in fact, she claims to be responsible for his success. Dismissing her beliefs as superstition, he prevails upon her to give up the practise, after which sinister event befall him. The brilliance of the 1962 film adaptation is that these events are carefully contrived so that the supernatural explanation is never definitely proven, leaving it up to the audience to decide. According to HR, Ray’s adaptation wil update the material and “amp up the prurience factor as one woman’s desire to take over a more ideal female body factors into the plot.”

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.