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