What Happened to the Killer Klowns From Outer Space Sequel?
In 1988, a trio of Newyork brothers brought us one of the most zaniest and out of this world horrors that is still being talked about 30 odd years later. Killer Clowns From Outer Space was a surprise smash hit for the Chiodo brothers, but despite decades of chatting about a sequel, we look at why the project has failed to take off. The horror genre is filled with killer clowns, but none were more hilarious than the titular villains of Killer Clowns From Outer Space, who arrive on earth to top up the latest snack craze, humans!
Armed with crazy gadgets, supernatural abilities and a thirst for human blood, these otherworldly creatures exploded onto our screens in a film that tickled horror fans in all the right places. It was dark, graphic and filled with the goofy humor reserved for Warner Brothers Cartoons. Killer Klowns never tried to be scary, instead, it embraced the lunacy of the films premise with plenty of comical and gory deaths, making the film a spectacle worthy of its strong cult following.
Directors, writers, and producers Charles, Edward and Stephen Chiodo were already working in the industry as special effects artists before they decided to make their own film. Having successfully delivered the designs and puppetry for the Crites in the 1986 horror Critters, they turned their eyes to a more personal project that would test the very limits of their skills. They clearly put a lot of talent and passion into Killer Klowns, and it’s no wonder that fans have been calling for a sequel for such a long time.
The first rumblings of a sequel came in 2012 when the Chiodo Brothers announced plans for a second film. Grant Cramer, who starred in the original film, revealed the films plot in an interview. At the time it was being touted as a “requel” (a failed buzzword for remake-sequel that eventually become known as a reboot), and Cramer confirmed that he would be returning as the town drunk who would serve as a mentor to young street performers who must fight the Killer Klowns when they return. He described his character as “somewhere between the energy of Kris Kristofferson’s character in Blade and Christopher Lloyd’s character in Back to the Future”.
Things went dark on the project for many years, until January 2016, where the project was given the name The Return of the Killer Klowns From Outer Space in 3D. At the time, the Brothers were awaiting on a distribution deal that would have allowed the production to kick off. Cramer was once again spokesperson for the project saying…
“I can’t think of a better movie for 3D than ‘Killer Klowns.’ We really want to have the feel of the original 3D movies … the popcorn will shoot right out at us and so will the cotton candy and all sorts of other fun stuff. We definitely won’t be like ‘Avatar’ where all the 3D is going on in the background. We want to be right in your face!”
Sadly, the distribution deal fell through. However, down but not out, the Brothers decided to change tactics, announcing a new strategy in March 2016. The film was now being touted as a potential TV series, but it was clear that things were not quite right. Stephen Chiodo spoke on a podcast about the project.
“Right now, we are currently pursuing a long arch series for cable. We wondered, should we do a sequel to the first one or do we do a remake? We came up with a ‘requel’ – it’s a sequel and a remake. We’ve been developing this for a while. It’s a trilogy in four parts, and it really follows the continuing adventures of new people who are experiencing this phenomenon of a Klown invasion, and once in a while you see some of the old guys pop up and hear their stories – find out what happened over the last 25 years. It’s fucking great.”
Sequels, remakes and a trilogy in four parts? The project was running on steam with the Chiodo brother seemingly grasping at straws.
On October 22, 2018, it was announced that SYFY was in talks to acquire the rights to Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Sadly, the Chiodo’s plans for a sequel had run dry, with their TV series failing to get any backing. SyFy had it’s eyes on a buy out of the franchise, with plans for a new film. Though it seems like they were picked at the post, as news the following year showed that another company also had eyes on the clowny prize.
In August of 2019, Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox completed and the mouse house took control of all of Fox’s assets. One of the interesting things that came from this exchange, was Fox’s ownership of the Killer Clowns From Outer Space. They had bought it up with plans for a new movie, but with Disney now in charge, Killer Clowns were simply not on the menu. Along with many active projects, Killer Clowns was purged from production.
Disney have yet to make an announcement of what it is going to do with it’s non-family friendly films, but it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be seeing any horrors from them in the near future. Whilst they might be ably to shift rights to a sister company such as FX, it’s highly unlikely we’ll be seeing any Killer Klowns films in the near future. It does seem that Killer Clowns From Outer Space is cursed to be remembered as a classic cult horror form the 1980’s. Whilst it does deserver to have sequel, requel or even TV show, it’s just not on the cards right now. Officially, Killer Clowns are dead!
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