"Little Red Riding Hood" is one of the creepier folktales out there. A young girl goes skipping through a dark forest, bound for her sick grandmother's house with a basket full of food. Along the way she encounters a wolf, who advises her to bring flowers. While Little Red is dilly-dallying, the wolf runs ahead to poor grandma's house and eats her, disguising himself as the poor lady. Then he eats Red when she arrives, only to be saved by a wandering hunter who cuts the two free, fills the wolf's body with stones and drowns him.
Pleasant, right? There have actually been numerous variations on the story, and now it looks like we'll be getting one more. Variety reports that Leonardo DiCaprio has picked up the rights to "Little Red Riding Hood" under his Appian Way banner. The trade reports that the project will serve up a "Gothic reimagining" of the fairy tale, with a script from "Orphan" writer David Leslie Johnson.
The above plot description is from the Brothers Grimm version, which is the most popular but far from the oldest take on "Little Red." The first printed version was written by Charles Perrault in the 17th century, but the tale dates back as far as the 14th century. Earlier versions replace the wolf with more supernatural creatures, such as an ogre or a werewolf.
With all of the "Twilight" popularity raging across the globe, I think a werewolf is our likely candidate for the antagonist in Appian's take on the tale. I suppose a vampire is possible, but that might be a bit too obvious, don't you think? Regardless, with twisted reimaginings like Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" and the "Little Red"-inspired art computer game "The Path" out there, I'm pleased to hear that the classic story will be getting the big screen treatment, one that fully embraces its twisted roots.
Next up: "Hansel & Gretel"!
What would you like to see done with "Little Red Riding Hood"? How do you define a "Gothic" take on the story? What other Grimm fairy tales would you like to see hit the big screen?