RARA-AVIS: Joe R. Lansdale & Bubba Nosferatu

From: Frederick Zackel ( fzackel@wcnet.org)
Date: 10 Apr 2006

Bubba Nosferatu On Track

Director Don Coscarelli told SCI FI Wire that his once-scuttled plans for Bubba Nosferatu, a prequel to his monster-fighting Bubba Ho-tep movie, may be back on track after a series of major setbacks. First, the studio that owned the original title, MGM, was sold; then co-star Ossie Davis died last year. But what started off as a joke in the final frames of the 2002 cult hit may now be resurrected as a reality again, Coscarelli said in an interview.

"I'm putting a big effort into doing Bubba Nosferatu now," said Coscarelli, who wrote and directed the original dark comedy about an elderly Elvis
(Bruce Campbell) and black John F. Kennedy (Davis) in a nursing home who fight an ancient Egyptian mummy curse.

"The project has a life of its own," said Coscarelli, who is working on the script in collaboration with writer Joe R. Lansdale, who came up with the original short story. "People seem to want it. We just have to get it finished. The whole idea of Bubba Nosferatu was a joke." The end of Bubba Ho-tep promised a sequel: Bubba Nosferatu: The Curse of the She-Vampire, starring Sebastian Haff, the fictional Elvis impersonator who supposedly switched places with the real Elvis and then wouldn't switch back.

The prequel will show the King in his 30s as he dabbles in the world of black magic and voodoo. "Bruce can't wait to put his Elvis jumpsuit back on again," Coscarelli said. "We hope to shoot this year."

Bubba Ho-tep got great buzz when it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2002. Coscarelli started taking a follow-up movie seriously and turned the title into a prequel so that Campbell could play a younger Elvis without the prosthetics and hours of makeup required for Bubba Ho-tep.

Coscarelli said he was devastated by Davis' death and was sad he couldn't have the actor reprise his role. But, he promised, "Elvis will have a whole new set of companions as he battles these creatures." (BloodyDisgusting.com reported a rumor that Paul Giamatti is in line to play Elvis' legendary manager, Col. Tom Parker.) Coscarelli also teased that the potential franchise could continue on indefinitely. He's already throwing out a title for the third film, Bubba Sasquatch. -Mike Szymanski

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