New 'Arachnophobia' on Its Way From Steven Spielberg and James Wan



Arachnophobia


A new version of 90s horror-comedy Arachnophobia is on its way. Here’s what we know so far.


Who is involved with the new project?


Two production companies, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and James Wan’s Atomic Monster, have teamed up, according to Deadline. Wan will produce but will not direct. Frank Marshall, who directed the original, will serve as an executive producer. No other details have been revealed. 


What was the plot of the original film?


A newly-discovered, very aggressive Venezuelan spider is inadvertently transported to a peaceful small town in California, where it mates and produces an army of lethal spiders. As the town’s residents begin to die, young Doctor Jennings (Jeff Daniels) begins to suspect an arachnid attack. Heroic exterminator Delbert McClintock (John Goodman) must save the town.


The horror comedy was a modest success at the box office in the summer of 1990, making an estimated $53 million. Arachnophobia became a popular word of mouth success story after it was released on home video.



Who was behind the scenes?


Frank Marshall, who was already well-established as a producer (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Goonies), made his directorial debut. Kathleen Kennedy, now head of Lucasfilm, produced; Steven Spielberg served as one of the executive producers. Michael Kahn, Spielberg’s longtime film editor, also worked on this thriller.


Who starred?


In addition to Daniels as a good doctor and Goodman as a fearless bug man, Harley Jane Kozak played the doctor’s wife, Julian Sands (pictured at top) portrayed an arachnid expert and Henry Jones played an older physician in town.


Will John Goodman return in the new version?


For many fans of the original, Goodman was the heart and soul of the film. The actor had already given memorable performances in The Big Easy, Raising Arizona, Sea of Love, and Spielberg’s Always, but was best known for his costarring role in TV’s Roseanne. The response to Arachnophobia helped make him a star, as he was soon headlining King Ralph, The Babe and Matinee.


It’s very early in the development process — a writer still needs to be hired — but it’s encouraging to see that Wan likes the idea of Goodman returning for the new film.


 


When might we see it?


All things considered, we’re probably looking at 2021 or 2022, leaving plenty of time for any who suffer from “extreme or irrational fear of spiders,” as arachnophobia is defined, to be afraid. Very afraid.