The classic Tobe Hooper / Steven Spielberg horror film Poltergeist is getting the TV series treatment from Amblin and Amazon MGM
Last year, Amazon closed an $8.5 billion acquisition of the film studio MGM, giving them ownership of the studio’s thousands of films and TV shows. Earlier this year, we heard that Poltergeist was one of the six MGM properties Amazon was most interested in doing something with (the other five being Stargate, The Thomas Crown Affair, Legally Blonde, Rocky, and RoboCop)… and now Variety has discovered that a Poltergeist TV series is in early development at Amazon MGM Studios! There are no plot details to share at this time, but Variety has been told “the show will be set within the world of the film”.
Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey are set to executive produce the series for Amblin Television.
Tobe Hooper, who had previously made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eaten Alive, Salem’s Lot, and The Funhouse, directed Poltergeist from a screenplay Steven Spielberg wrote with Michael Grais and Mark Victor. Spielberg also crafted the initial story. The film has the following synopsis: Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings — Steve, Diane, teenaged Dana, eight-year-old Robbie, and five-year-old Carol Ann — when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.
Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Beatrice Straight, Michael McManus, Virginia Kiser, Martin Casella, Richard Lawson, James Karen, Dirk Blocker, and Zelda Rubinstein star, with appearances by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2‘s Lou Perryman and Predator‘s Sonny Landham.
Originally released on June 4, 1982, Poltergeist was made on a budget of $10.7 million and ended up earning more than $121 million at the box office. Of course, that means it spawned a franchise, but none of the follow-ups have come close to reaching the first movie’s level of popularity. There were two sequels and a remake, and in the ’90s MGM produced four seasons of a TV series called Poltergeist: The Legacy, which didn’t have a direct connection to the films.
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