Tremors 5

Seeking Perfection: December 2014 update

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this blog post, a day that I had hoped would find Tremors fans around the globe eagerly awaiting their copy of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors in their stocking tomorrow morning.

Sadly, my plans for a December 2014 publication date were foiled by a few factors that I’ll try to summarise here.

Although I’d heard rumblings of a fifth Tremors film earlier in the year, nothing was confirmed until October, meaning I rapidly had to rewrite the book’s ending to incorporate what we knew about the sequel. On top of that, I underestimated the amount of editing required: I’ve had a few editors read through the book, each of them asking questions about parts of the text or noting spelling mistakes.

All of this is part and parcel of writing a book, but I’m pleased to say that it’s now almost complete, bar a few final tweaks and the addition of photographs, which I’m now working on.

Rather than give another estimated publication date, I’m just going to say that the book won’t be released in the first few months of 2015 but that I hope to announce something in late January. While I wanted the book to be out for the “official” anniversary date of 19 January (the date in 1990 that Tremors was released in US cinemas), I’d rather not rush it. Fans have waited this long for a complete history of the franchise, hopefully another few months won’t be too much of a problem.

In the meantime, I’ve heard about a number of exciting ways the 25th anniversary will be celebrated in print, video and audio in 2015, and I’ll be publishing blog posts throughout next year to help spread the word.

I’ll also publish more podcasts featuring updates on the book and the Tremors universe, while snippets of my interviews featured in the book will be included.

Finally, here’s an early Christmas present, some never-before-published behind the scenes photos from the set of Tremors in 1989. The first was taken by actress Charlotte Stewart (Nancy) and shows her and Kevin Bacon between takes.

Copyright Charlotte Stewart

The second photo comes from production designer Ivo Cristante, and shows an early stage in the building of Burt and Heather Gummer’s home.

Copyright Ivo Cristante

Copyright Ivo Cristante

Have a fantastic Christmas and a Tremors-filled 2015!

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Michael Gross to return in 2015 with Tremors 5 – UPDATED

Tremors 5

Update 17/10/14 – Today I added an important update to this story from Stampede Entertainment – please see below for the news.

Buy Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors!

Ten years on from the release of Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, and a few months before 1990’s Tremors celebrates its 25th anniversary, news has broken that Tremors 5 will be released in 2016 starring Michael Gross as Burt Gummer.

Gross has been hinting on Facebook since September that his current African shoot might have something to do with giant underground worms, and today Universal Pictures Home Entertainment confirmed it with a press release:

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment: Tremors 5

ADVENTURE INSPIRED BY THE CULT CLASSIC

TREMORS 5

ORIGINAL TREMORS STAR MICHAEL GROSS RETURNS ALONGSIDE NEWEST CO-STAR JAMIE KENNEDY COMING TO BLU-RAY™, DVD AND DIGITAL HD IN 2016 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

The fifth heart-pounding installment in the action-packed sci-fi comedy-adventure franchise, Tremors 5 began principal photography in South Africa on September 22, 2014. With even more deadly creatures on the loose, Tremors 5 continues the films’ hallmark combination of adrenaline-laced suspense, explosive action and tongue-in-cheek humor. Michael Gross returns for his fifth appearance in the Tremors films alongside new cast member, Scream film series star Jamie Kennedy in this original release from Universal 1440 Entertainment, a production entity of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Tremors 5 will be released on Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def, DVD and Digital HD in 2016.

The theatrical release of the original Tremors in 1990 combined suspense-filled action, sci-fi imagination and witty humor in the tale of a tiny Nevada town terrorized by giant man-eating worms known as Graboids. The Graboids eventually morphed into even more deadly creatures known as Ass Blasters. In this all-new adventure that travels halfway around the world to South Africa, the Graboids and the Ass Blasters are not only bigger and badder but Tremors 5 introduces an additional unexpected surprise that raises the stakes in the battle for survival.

“The Tremors franchise has built a reputation for high intensity fun and suspense and this installment takes it to a whole new level,” said Glenn Ross, General Manager and Executive Vice President, Universal 1440 Entertainment.

Michael Gross (“Anger Management,” “Suits,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Family Ties,” Tremors franchise) returns as weapons enthusiast and expert subterranean creature hunter Burt Gummer with Jamie Kennedy (“The Cleveland Show,” “Ghost Whisperer,” Scream series) as his new right hand man, tech-savvy Travis. The pair are joined by an international cast as they mount a battle against the deadly creatures that turns out to be far more than they bargained for.

The film is directed by Don Michael Paul (Jarhead 2: Field of Fire, Sniper: Legacy) from a script by John Whelpley (Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, TV’s “Dallas”) and produced by Ogden Gavanski (The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Fire, Warm Bodies).

Michael Gross also posted a new image of Burt on Facebook this evening:

Michael Gross 2014

While it’s exciting to know that everyone’s favourite survivalist will soon be returning, there’s no word yet on the involvement of series creators, S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, or their production company, Stampede Entertainment. It does seem that the script is loosely based on their decade-old Tremors 5 script written after Tremors 4’s release in 2004, but the press release suggests it was written solely by Tremors 3 screenwriter, John Whelpley.

If it turns out Stampede are not involved, this will be the first time in 25 years that a Tremors project hasn’t involved its creators.

Update 17/10/14: Today saw the publication of a statement from Stampede Entertainment regarding their involvement with Tremors 5, which I’ve published in full below. As I noted in my original post, S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Nancy Roberts and Ron Underwood brought each Tremors film/TV series to cinema and TV screens as creators, writers, producers and directors:

Press release 10/16/2014

As we approach the 25th anniversary of Tremors, we have news about Tremors 5.

Most fans are aware that Universal Studios has announced production of a new DVD sequel, being shot in South Africa. For all of us at Stampede, this is a bittersweet development in our long connection with the franchise, since we, the creators, are not involved.

Stampede has always been interested in reassembling the original Tremors creative team to produce a fresh new theatrical sequel in the Tremors voice. We attempted rights negotations with Universal for an independent theatrical film in 2012. However, the studio passed on the option, preferring to continue the franchise with DVDs at some future date.

Early in 2014, Universal Home Video indicated that they were budgeting another sequel based on a 2004 script written by Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson. While they pointed out that they had “no further contractual obligation” to Stampede, they did offer us Executive Producer positions. But they also made it clear that in this new even-lower budget project, the Stampede’ partners’ participation would be severely restricted, with little control over cast, director, special effects, locations, or indeed any aspect of production.

It was always only our full involvement as creators that gave us the means and incentive to reinvigorate and expand the Tremors universe with Tremors 2, 3, 4 and the series — despite the significant increasing budget limitations. Without meaningful creative control allowing us to continue to guarantee the integrity of our Tremors vision, we sadly declined to be involved.

The entire Stampede Team extends a big THANK YOU to the loyal fans who have clamored for this movie for so long. For your viewing pleasure, we hope it’s good!

The Stampede Partners:
S. S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Nancy Roberts, Ron Underwood.

This casts something of a shadow over the Tremors 5 news for long-term fans, with the Stampede team’s unique approach to the films ensuring a consistency through each of the films and the series. During my many interviews for the book it’s become clear just how difficult it is to produce FX-heavy films on tight budgets. Many of those involved in the films have gone above and beyond what is expected of them simply because they are Tremors films and not generic action/horror/sci-fi flicks. For them, Tremors is only Tremors because of Stampede.

In the spirit of Stampede’s statement, it’s only fair to wait and see how the new film pans out and to support Michael Gross as he carries the baton for the franchise. I’ll be reporting on the film in as much detail as I can before its release in 2016 and it’s my hope that, if Tremors 5 is a success, Stampede will be back in control for Tremors 6 and beyond, alongside Mr Gross.

It’s also worth mentioning that the new film throws doubt on the recent announcement by original Tremors star, Kevin Bacon, that he’s keen to star in a 25th anniversary reboot of the franchise.

There’s more details on the various attempts to bring a fifth Tremors film to the screen in Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors.

Read a preview of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors!

Find out where to buy the book, including signed copies from the author.

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Kevin Bacon to return in Tremors reboot?

Anyone following the progress of this book will know that 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the world’s greatest underground worm movie, Tremors. Now it seems Kevin Bacon wants to celebrate the fact.

Despite my best attempts to contact Kevin for the book, he’s not yet got back to me for an interview, which made the following interview such a surprise when I watched it this morning.

According to numerous reports over the years, Kevin considers Tremors to be a low point in his career, stemming from various personal issues in his own life at the time. Yesterday, in an interview with HuffPost Live, Kevin admitted he’d recently watched the film and was “pleasantly surprised” by it. He also admitted that he has “a real dream to reboot it, and to see the character 25 years down the line…to see what that guy may have become.”

Kevin also admitted to sleepwalking during the shoot in Lone Pine, California, “saving” his pregnant wife from giant worms.

How would you feel about a new Tremors film revisiting the character of Val McKee 25 years on? Should it also reunite him with original co-star, Fred Ward? We already know from Tremors 2: Aftershocks that Val married Rhonda LaBeck after the events of the first film – where is he now?

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