The 1996 thriller Fear, while not an obscure or forgotten movie, isn’t necessarily considered a classic either, or the sort where fans would be up in arms about it being remade. It’s entertaining enough, mainly thanks to its cast. Leads Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon were just getting started in the movies, long before they’d each become Oscar-caliber superstars with popular franchises under their belt and production companies delivering hugely successful TV and film properties.
Now it’s the movie’s own turn to find greater recognition, at least in the form of being reworked and updated for a new generation. According to Deadline, Universal is remaking Fear with the story being told from a female perspective. Whether that means there will be more focus on the female lead, a character who in the original starts dating a boy who turns out to be a psychopath, is unclear. The first movie isn’t exactly all from the boy’s point of view.
One thing that could elevate the material — the original has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 39% — is the screenwriter chosen for the project. This Fear will be scripted by Jonathan Herman, who earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing Straight Outta Compton. That is his only feature credit at the moment, but he’s worked on a number of other projects in development, including the next Scarface remake and adaptations of the novels The Travelers and Bloodlines.
If there’s one other thing the Fear remake needs next is two young stars on the verge of exploding in Hollywood, because the original’s legacy is mainly in the fact that it features Wahlberg and Witherspoon a year or two before they really shined and caught our attention in Boogie Nights and Pleasantville, respectively. Good writing will help, but a story such as this one, which back then was likened by many as just another Fatal Attraction type thriller, is only a good as its leads.