Academy Award-winning composer and Marvel Studios' Werewolf by Night director Michael Giacchino is set to tackle a reboot of the classic 1950s black-and-white monster movie Them! for Warner Bros. Pictures.
According to Deadline, Giacchino will make his feature directorial debut with a "fresh take" on Them!, which is now in development. Giacchino is currently meeting with writers in hopes of fast-tracking the project. Like with Werewolf by Night, Giacchino plans to compose the film in addition to directing. He also plans to have his brother, Anthony Giacchino, involved in the reboot's production.
"There's always a movie in your mind that never leaves your head. For me, that's Them!. It wasn't until much later in life until I learned what it was about -- the nuclear age," Giacchino said. "What I love about Them! is exactly what it's called: Them!. It's about the other, the unknown which one refuses or can't understand." Regarding his early vision for the reboot, the director added, "The current version of Them! is about immigration, and to tell a story about the subject through a lens of this insane science fiction monster movie."
Beware of Them!
Like the planned reboot, the original Them! was a Warner Bros. production. Directed by Gordon Douglas, the film released in theaters in 1954. It centers on a group of giant, irradiated ants that are discovered in the New Mexico desert, with the insects having been mutated by the first atomic bomb test that took place near Alamogordo in 1945. A national search begins when it is discovered that two queen ants and their consorts have escaped to create new nests, culminating in a climactic battle in Los Angeles, California. Them! was one of the first nuclear monster movies of the '50s, as well as the first to feature giant insects as the monster. As such, the film has had a lasting impact on pop culture. For instance, horror punk band The Misfits released a song titled "Them," based directly on the movie, on their 1999 studio album Famous Monsters. Additionally, the popular post-nuclear role-playing video game Fallout 3 features a side quest cheekily titled Those!, in which the player is tasked with infiltrating a nest of giant, irradiated fire ants.
Michael Giacchino: Director by Night
Giacchino is perhaps best known for his work as a composer, having scored such hit films as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Batman, just to name a few. In 2007, Giacchino landed his first Academy Award nomination in for Best Original Score for his work on the Pixar animated film Ratatouille. He would land his first win in the category just two years later for his work on Pixar's Up. Ratatouille and Up also netted Giacchino two Grammy Awards.
In 2022, Giacchino was tapped to not only compose, but also direct Werewolf by Night, Marvel Studios' first television special for Disney+, which premiered on the platform in October as part of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Shortly after, Giacchino was the subject of a behind-the-scenes documentary titled Director by Night. It seems only fitting that the first feature-length film Giacchino will helm would be a remake of a black-and-white monster movie like Them!, seeing as how Werewolf by Night was itself a black-and-white special inspired by the classic horror films of the 1930s and '40s.