'Phantasm V: Ravager' Set for 2016 Release; J.J. Abrams Secretling Working on Restoration of Don Coscarelli’s 1970s Horror Classic

By Staff Writer

Dec 17, 2015 10:40 AM EST

'Phantasm' is a classic horror film first released in 1979. J.J. Abrams, together with Bad Robot, is working on the restoration of Don Coscarelli's classic for high-definition release. Meanwhile, the fifth film in the series is scheduled to be released in 2016.

According to the A.V. Club, J.J. Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have been secretly working on the restoration of Don Coscarelli's classic horror film for a while now. The director even admitted that Captain Phasma of 'Star Wars: VII - The Force Awakens', a supporting antagonist, was influenced heavily by the cult favorite.

Abrams said, "Phasma I named because of the amazing chrome design that came from Michael Kaplan's wardrobe team... It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool."

Coscarelli himself expressed his enthusiasm over the restoration of his film - 4k treatment and full 5.1-channel audio mix included - saying that he was obviously excited. According to Vulture, the 61-year old filmmaker applauded Abrams for his efforts and revealed that they both met 15 years ago when Abrams was doing 'Felicity'.

He added, "[The restoration] came about because he wanted to show Phantasm at Bad Robot. I told him, "Well, the prints are really bad." He generously offered to help create a restoration. Obviously that's an offer we couldn't refuse."

The original film was first released in 1979 and introduced an antagonist named the Tall Man, played by Angus Scrimm, who is a supernatural undertaker who turns the dead into zombie minions. A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury and Kathy Lester made up the rest of the original cast.

Since then, the locally financed film spawned three sequels: 'Phantasm II' in 1988, 'Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead' in 1994, and finally 'Phantasm IV: Oblivion' in 1998. A fourth and final sequel 'Phantasm V: Revager' was announced in 2014 and is set to be released by next year.

According to JoBlo, Coscarelli told Entertainment Weekly that 'Phantasm V: Revager' would most likely debut either in the first or second quarter of 2016. He said that "almost every one of the original cast is back" including Scrimm, who was "magnificent" as the main villain. He added that the concluding film may confront unanswered questions and ties up the storylines of all previous films.

'Phantasm' is a 1979 horror film directed, written and co-produced by Don Coscarelli. It earned $12 million against a $300,000 budget and eventually gained positive reviews as well as status as a classic cult favorite in the genre. 'Phantasm V: Ravager' is an upcoming fifth and final film in the series to be released in 2016.

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