By now it can be simply deduced that JJ Abrams is a fan of Don Coscarelli’s 1979 cult horror classic Phantasm (released as The Never Dead in Australia). Coscarelli talks about how JJ Abrams’ involvement helped in restoration of the cult film.
Recently, Coscarelli revealed that he wanted to showcase a sparkling version of Phantasm. Fans have probably understood the Star Wars: The Force Awakens lore that Captain Phasma is named after the Coscarelli film.
“It started a loooong long time ago in a graveyard far, far away. J.J. Abrams called up, oh, about 12 years ago, back when he still doing TV stuff,” Coscarelli said. Coscarelli is a fascinating film maker and passionate man. He also made Bubba Ho-Tep and The Beastmaster, says Gizmodo Australia.
About a year and half back, Abrams again called Coscarelli with the interest to screen Phantasm for his workers over at his company Bad Robot.
This is when the idea of restoration began. Coscarelli only had a “scratched-up old 35mm print” and the standard-def DVD. These weren’t great options for screening the film. “Oh, we gotta fix that!” Abrams said to him.
Coscarelli got in touch with Abrams’ head of post-production, a guy named Ben Rosenblatt. Rosenblatt came up with this plan to restore the movie capably. They organised the image, erased some bugging visual error, restored the sound and “enhance” one special effect.
During the first phone call, Abrams introduced himself to Coscarelli, as a TV producer who loves Phantasm. The two then began talking about it.
According to Coscarelli, Abrams was a “real cool guy.” He said it was during the making of Bubba Ho-Tep that he was having certain issues bringing the project together.
The editing process was troubling Coscarelli, who showed it to Abrams. They spent so time together and stayed in touch “from time to time.”
“I introduced him to Angus Scrimm, and he ended up putting Angus into a recurring role on his Alias TV series,” he said. “Angus really appreciated that and really enjoyed it.” Scrimm is the actor, who played the iconic Tall Man in Phantasm.
Coscarelli also said that the series-concluding Phantasm 5, which contains the late Scrimm’s last performance, is coming “very, very soon“.
Phantasm is a horror film that tells the story of a young boy and his friends, who confronts a mysterious grave robber known as the Tall Man. The Tall Man has a mysterious arsenal of terrible weapons, says IMDB.