‘Orphanage’ Remake Adopted By ‘Arlington Road’ Director Mark Pellington

Back in August, I excitedly shared news that Larry Fessenden was hired to direct New Line’s English-language remake of Juan Antonio Bayona’s spooky Spanish film “The Orphanage.” Unfortunately, the filmmaker was dropped a few months later over an issue with the film’s casting. Now the studio is in negotiations with music video veteran and “Arlington Road” director Mark Pellington to helm the horror flick, according to Variety.

Reportedly, the script that Fessenden co-wrote with producer Guillermo Del Toro is still being used, so I’m happy about that. As for Pellington, I’d like to be hopeful that he’s the right choice, especially since he showed promise early in his career with “Going All the Way” and “Arlington Road,” not to mention with Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” video. I also really enjoyed his recent concert film “U2 3D,” though mostly for the gimmicky spectacle.

Not that Pellington’s name will be that much of a draw or deterrent. The director’s last two features, “The Mothman Prophecies” and “Henry Poole is Here” were more forgettable than terrible. But del Toro’s involvement should still have you optimistic that “The Orphanage” won’t be just another Hollywood desecration of a foreign property. The “Hobbit” helmer was a producer (and sort of mentor) on the original film too, so he’s the right man to shepherd a remake.

With this latest update, can we speculate that “The Orphanage” might be done in 3D? Del Toro has in the past expressed interest in exploring the format, especially if it’s not used as a mere gimmick, and of course Pellington has experience with digital 3D cameras from his U2 film. In addition to del Toro, “The Orphanage” is being produced by Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson, who made the 3-D fantasy “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Given New Line’s box office success with last summer’s “The Final Destination” in 3-D (and less so with “Journey to the Center of the Earth” the year before), I’m surprised the studio hasn’t been more interested in exploiting the format for its other upcoming horror releases, which include “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th Part II.” Then again, “The Orphanage” isn’t the kind of scary movie that would make use of 3-D in the way audiences expect with slasher flicks.

Are you hopeful that Mark Pellington will deliver the thrills? Do you trust that Guillermo Del Toro will honor the original? Would you like to see the “Orphanage” remake in 3-D? Have you seen the original?