Never Direct a
Early on in my career, I made the proclamation I would never direct a remake.
At this point as a filmmaker I was coming off of three sequels, and I craved originality... I had these ideas of who I saw myself becoming a director. I wanted to create new and unique material that defied "a box." I wanted to do dangerous projects... Projects like REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA. Projects when you saw them, or heard about them you just said... "What the Fuck?"
I grew up idolizing people like Jim Jarmusch, or Terry Gilliam. These filmmakers refused to play by anyone's rules but their own... They oozed uniqueness. That's the path I wanted. So why in fuck's sake was I doing a remake?
Okay. Let's cut to a few years earlier. I was in the offices of Twisted Pictures, the producers of the SAW films. While I was sitting there, I noticed a script on one of the producer's desk entitled "WICHITA" written by Scott Milam. A little backstory, I'm from Kansas... Wichita is a few hours from where I grew up.
"Forget it Bousman, it's an unfilmable script. Too dark, too vicious, even for you." Well, color me intrigued. That sounded like a challenge.
"Can I read it?" I asked.
"You can read it, but we ARE NOT making it!"
That night I sat down and read the single most disturbing script I had ever (and still have) read. It was a macabre film about two brothers in the middle of a home invasion.
The next morning I called the writer, Scott, to sing his praises. On that call he told me something that solidified my wanting to do this film: "It was based on a true story."
NO FUCKING WAY. This movie was too dark, too messed up, too utterly horrific to be real. Right?
Around the time of my becoming interested I had flown home for Christmas. We were all sitting around the dinner table, and I mentioned to my family I had read the most shocking movie ever, based on a real crime that took place in Wichita, Kansas.
Before I could say another word, my uncle goes... "Wanna hear about a horrible crime, you should read about the case I am working now..." Get this, my uncle was on the prosecuting side for the state against the criminals Scott had based his script on. My jaw dropped, and I couldn't believe it.
The next morning I optioned the material and set out to get this film made.
Well, due to the INSANE subject matter and violent nature of the script, EVERYONE turned me down. I mean everyone.
Let's cut to a few months later... I get a phone call from Brett Ratner, a producer, who tells me he has the rights to the Troma film, MOTHER'S DAY, and would I be interested in discussing it.
I loved the original film, but I had no fucking clue how you remake that film TODAY. I decided to revisit the movie and just see if there was anything there. The story follows three brothers doing really horrible things at the request of their Mother. Ironically the first thing I thought of when rewatching this was how similar in tone it was to Scott's script, WICHITA...
I called Brett back and asked if he'd read a script I had... He agreed and read it. That next day he calls me back.
"What if we adapted Wichita into Mother's Day?"
And so it began... Milam and I set off turning his dark home invasion to hit in the world of MOTHER'S DAY.
Believe it or not, it adapted quite easily.
The story is the same. We just needed to add a crazy, engaging, amazing mother role. Enter Rebecca DeMornay!