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‘Cloverfield’ director sinks teeth into Swedish vampire tale

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This is the third installment in our ‘Heating Up’ feature, where writers for the Los Angeles Times Calendar section pick people to watch in Hollywood. I wrote the two previous pieces posted here at Hero Complex (one was on Chris Hemsworth, star of the upcoming ‘Thor’ and a ‘Red Dawn’ remake; the other was on H.P. Lovecraft, the long-gone horror writer who is poised for a new afterlife in Hollywood). Today my colleague Mark Olsen writes on filmmaker Matt Reeves. -- Geoff Boucher

After having directed the ‘Godzilla'-for-the-Twitter-generation known as ‘Cloverfield,’ Matt Reeves was in meetings in early 2008 trying to set up a small drama he had written. An executive at Overture Films asked him to take a look at a then-unreleased Swedish horror film, ‘Let the Right One In,’ a hauntingly touching film about a lonely 12-year-old boy who realizes the kind girl who moved in next door is a vampire. ‘I was just hooked,’ Reeves recalled recently. ‘I was so taken with the story and I had a very personal reaction. It reminded me a lot of my childhood, with the metaphor that the hard times of your pre-adolescent, early adolescent moment, that painful experience is a horror.’ Reeves signed on to adapt and direct an American remake of the cult hit, now called ‘Let Me In,’ the English translation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s original novel. He recently finished a second draft of the script, currently set in Reagan-era Colorado, and is scouting locations, looking to maintain the original story’s chilly, snow-swept environs. The film is scheduled for a fall 2010 theatrical release. Reeves is also working with casting director Avy Kaufman -- who previously found kids for ‘The Sixth Sense’ and ‘The Ice Storm’ -- to find the two leads, which Reeves vows will not be aged-up to make the film more of a smoldering ‘Twilight'-style romance.'There’s definitely people who have a real bull’s-eye on the film,’ Reeves said, ‘and I can understand because of people’s’ love of the [original] film that there’s this cynicism that I’ll come in and trash it, when in fact I have nothing but respect for the film. I’m so drawn to it for personal and not mercenary reasons, my feeling about it is if I didn’t feel a personal connection and feel it could be its own film, I wouldn’t be doing it. I hope people give us a chance.'-- Mark Olsen

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