It looks like John Carpenter will be return to his old stomping ground -- Horror films -- having taken a moviemaking sabbatical after the failure of 2001's GHOST OF MARS. During that time he has been whoring off his projects to the remake processing machine with results ranging from "meh" (ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN) to "I must kill this horrid creation by setting myself on fire and then throwing myself against the theatre screen!!!" (THE FOG). He also directed two of the better hour-long segments of SHOWTIME'S MASTER OF HORROR (CIGARETTE BURNS, PRO-LIFE).
After completing the now-in-pre-production RIOT (starring Nicolas Cage) he will next move onto Echo Lake's THE WARD, described by the director as being "a complex, visceral story, full of suspense and scares". Written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, the movie focuses on a disturbed young woman who is terrorized by a ghost in an institution.
That young woman will be played by rising hottie Amber Heard (whose had roles in such films as ALPHA DOG, NEVER BACK DOWN and PINEAPPLE EXPRESS). She herself has delved into horror with ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE, which was a festival-fave but remains virtually unreleased and unseen after being picked up for distribution by the Weinstein Brothers (Remember them?)
On a side note -- I actually had the chance to see MANDY LANE and found it to be a solid little horror flick. It also gorgeously shot (if a little shadowy at times) . . . Not the least of which coming from a yummy Ms. Heard herself.Is it just me or he is actually starting to turn into LITTLE CHINA villain Lo Pan?