Rob Zombie recently gave an update on The Lords of Salem in an interview with Empire Magazine. Filming is planned to begin on April 18 for a release in early 2012, during a break from his concert tour.
This has been a long gestating project according to Zombie, who stated:
"Like a lot of my ideas, I had this one a long time ago, but it was never the right time to make it. Eventually it spun off into a song [on 2006's Educated Horses album] but there were still no plans to turn it into a movie until the Paranormal Activity guys [Oren Peli, Steven Schneider and Jason Blum, under their haunted Films banner] approached me and wanted to do something. I didn't have any specific plans, but I mentioned Lords of Salemand they really latched onto it."
The film based on the Salem witch trials will not be a period piece. but does have a prologue set in 1692.
"There were twenty people that everyone knows about - obviously all innocent - executed as witches in Salem," explains Rob. "The basic premise of the film is that there were a further four who actually were witches, who were killed secretly, and vowed one day to return to wreak havoc on Salem's descendants. That's when the movie jumps ahead to the present day and things start to go wrong..."
Zombie stated that he was planning on taking a break from the horror genre after directing The Devil's Rejects and the Halloween films. He was planning a film called Tyrannosaurus Rex ("a really violent, 1970s crime biker movie") and a new version of The Blob, but backed out of the latter.
"I didn't want to do another remake. You just can't win. If it's too similar to the original, everybody wonders what the point was, but if it's too different, everybody complains that it's... too different! I found especially with Halloween II that everyone talked about what it wasn't and not what it was: 'you can't do that with Michael Myers; you can't do that with Loomis...' It's like people have a set of rules in their minds about how these things should function, and you can't work like that."
He hopes that Tyrannosaurus Rex will follow Salem, but it wasn't a project that Peli and co wanted to do:
"I'd love to make a Western too, but the trouble is that films are expensive. When you find people like the Paranormal guys who are super-enthusiastic and super-cool and ready to put up the money for something, you'd be out of your mind to turn them down."
Zombie doesn't care negative press (don't worry, I would never write any):
"The thing I find with my music and especially the movies, is that people either love it to death, or hate it like it's the worst thing they've ever, ever seen, which to me shows I'm on the right path! You forget about a lot of movies practically before you've left the cinema. If I got no reaction at all then I'd know I'd failed."
"I always saw rock differently than movies. I don't watch the Rolling Stones the same way I watch Taxi Driver. My first film, House of 1000 Corpses, is probably the closest in tone to my music, because it's colourful and goofy and over-the-top, and it's the one I was least happy with. When it was done I realised I didn't like that approach. I stripped all that away for The Devil's Rejects."
I am excited for The Lords of Salem, especially after having visited Salem, MA. What are your thoughts on this news?