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Trio lines up AIP remakes

Producer Lou Arkoff, filmmaker Jeff Katz and industry consultant and former agent Hal Sadoff will remake a series of American International Pictures (AIP) classics from the 1950s including She-Creature and Teenage Caveman.

The partners announced the venture on Monday [6] and said they have reimagined the AIP library into an overarching universe featuring a roster of recurring antiheroes, monsters and bad girls. The initiative will cover licensing, gaming, online media and other ancillaries. 

Katz, Arkoff and Sadoff will initially remake 10 titles out of the 25-strong Arkoff/Nicholson library of AIP classics: Girls In Prison, Viking Women & The Sea Serpent [pictured], The Brain Eaters, She-Creature, Teenage Caveman, Runaway Daughters, The Undead, War Of The Colossal Beast, Cool & The Crazy and Day The World Ended.

The features will be shot back-to-back once production commences in autumn based on screenplays by writer-producer Katz.

Samuel Z Arkoff and James H Nicholson founded AIP in 1954 with the aim of releasing low-budget, independent features targeted at teenagers. The company went on to make more than 500 films, including the Beach Party series with Frankie Avalon and the late Annette Funicello, as well as the early films of Roger Corman.

In 1979 AIP merged with Filmways, which was later folded into Orion Pictures. The rest of the library is owned by MGM.

Lou Arkoff, the son of Samuel, previously produced remakes of AIP titles for Showtime’s Rebel Highway series in the 1990s and remade a series of AIP creature features for HBO/Cinemax in the early 2000s with Stan Winston.

“The AIP spirit was all about innovation and giving new young talent a place to create,” said Arkoff. “We are now using that independent spirit and our library of classic titles to create something brand new for the modern media model, with a coordinated social effort to accelerate interest in these properties.

“Our goal is to engage young audiences and drive the spirit of the times with the same excitement that fuelled these titles decades ago”

Katz is a former studio executive who has worked on such films as Shoot ‘Em Up, Freddy Vs. Jason, Wolverine and Snakes On A Plane and has written comic books for DC Comics, Top Cow and Dynamite.

“My filmmaking heroes growing up were men like Arkoff, Castle, Corman and Shaye,” said Katz. “This series of movies is really meant as a tip of the hat to that sort of attitude. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to create a brand new universe out of old school titles and I feel incredibly fortunate and honored to get to play in the AIP sandbox.”

Sadoff is a widely experienced financial advisor to the global media industry and recently led ICM’s international and independent film group. 

“The timing is perfect to reinvent these great titles,” said Sadoff. “The independent film marketplace has never been stronger, with traditional along with new and exciting distribution platforms for consumers to access content. We will be working with established and cutting edge talent to create films that are fun and commercial, while maintaining the integrity of the classic AIP titles.”

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