David Gordon Green, director of the new film Your Highness, told Boxoffice Magazine he is confident that his remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria will be true to the tone and style of the original, but still appeal to modern audiences. "I think you can do a dream horror movie," he said Sunday during an interview in Los Angeles, Calif. "But certainly over the last 30 years since that movie was made, some of those things, if you projected it for a modern audience, they would find it campy, and I wouldn't want to risk that. I don't want this to be such an homage that it has funny things in it. I would want my version of that movie to be deadly from the start to the finish, and a very aggressive horror film - a psychological, cerebral, artful horror film, which I think is what [Argento] did."
Green spoke to Boxoffice at the press day for Your Highness, an adventure film that evokes period epics like Beastmaster and Krull while giving their conventions a modern twist. The director indicated that his version of Suspiria would harbor greater artistic aspirations than to simply gross out its audience. "Translating that means I think tackling it in a little bit of a different way," Green observed. "I think what we've written is extraordinarily faithful to it, and it does have that dreamlike quality to it. But dreamlike can also mean Lost Highway, which I think is a tremendously nightmarish horror film, a very underrated movie; that movie gets under my skin and seeps into my subconscious."
"That or Enter the Void," he continued. "Movies that have come out recently that really are very daring, audacious movies that take the ambition on an artistic level rather than just trying to gross you out. Really get into some of the subconscious movies like Rosemary's Baby and The Shining, which did that tremendously; movies like The Tenant. I definitely take a cue more from those in terms of what I think will translate to a contemporary audience."
Green also said that one way in which he wants to distinguish the film from its contemporaries is by casting largely unknowns, not the least of which because it will give him greater freedom to push the film's transgressive style. "I want to do it with all unknowns and not have famous people in it, because sometimes that can be distracting in the wrong film," he explained. "And I've got to find... a budget that makes sense so that nobody bothers me and nobody says, you're being irresponsible and we've got to breathe down your neck and you've got to cast a famous person in this cast so we can hang our marketing hat on it. And in horror movies, there's just a great trend of being able to get away with that - movies can make a lot of money and not cost a lot of cash and not need to have a superstar to hang your hat on."
Meanwhile, Green also indicated that the film will make some direct references to Goblin's iconic score for Suspiria. "We got the rights to all of the Goblin music. I loved working with [Steve] Jablonsky on the score to [Your Highness], and I would love to use the evolution of Suspiria, which does get more dreamlike in the movie, and to start it very authentic and true to what Goblin has done and by the end of it turn it into like opera and choruses and orchestral versions of it. I think it would be an amazing way to evolve the scope of the movie; it starts out very small and specific, and it gets totally off its ass."
Green clarified that the film's fate is still uncertain, but he said he was undaunted by the delays and is looking forward to doing something new and interesting with it. "I don't know that it's happening - we've got to get the right money going," Green confessed. "But I've written it, with my sound designer - we co-wrote it together, and there's a group of Italian producers trying to get the money together right now. It would be awesome; it was be a great creative experience and a great opportunity to jump into a different genre and make something scary as shit."
Your Highness is scheduled for release nationwide on April 8, 2011.