In a recent interview, Taron Egerton confirmed that the Little Shop of Horrors remake is no longer happening. Egerton was going to star alongside Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson in a modern reimagining of the camp classic.
1986’s Little Shop of Horrors was a movie-musical directed by puppeteer Frank Oz (voice of Yoda) and featured music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman (both of whom would go on to compose classic scores for the 90s Disney Renaissance). It follows Seymour (Rick Moranis), a down-on-his-luck florist hoping to woo his longtime love Audrey away from her sadistic dentist boyfriend. When he becomes the owner of an unusual plant (which he names Audrey II), he finds his florist shop is suddenly the talk of the town. The only problem is that Audrey II needs human blood to survive.
Egerton would have played Seymour, with Johansson playing Audrey and Evans playing the dentist. Greg Berlanti was set to direct. Filming would have begun in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into those plans. Now, after many delays, it seems the project is canceled for good.
“I just don’t get it,” Egerton told The Mirror. “There was so much goodwill around it but it just fizzled out. Who knows if it will come back, but I can’t help but feel that it just might not.”
While his co-stars have remained optimistic, Egerton is seeing the writing on the wall. “I love when Chris Evans talks about it because he’s keeping the hope alive, keeping that candle burning, but at the moment, my understanding is it’s completely dormant,” he said.
Evans last spoke about the role to MTV News’s Joshua Horowitz in June, and he seemed to think that all the project needed was little push to get started. “[Little Shop of Horrors is] my favorite musical,” Evans said. “I even thought about posting my audition, just to stir the pot, just to see if I could poke Warner Bros. a little bit, to see if maybe, for the first time ever, I could get some fan reactions to let them know, ‘Come on, guys, make this thing.’ I sang the ‘Dentist!’ song for my audition, and I got it on my phone. And I always think, ‘Is this crazy to post this?'”
Egerton likewise was looking forward to inhabiting Moranis’s classic character. “That is a role where I feel like I could genuinely do something with it a bit different,” he said.
You might be wondering: do we even need a Little Shop of Horrors remake? The original is still extremely watchable today, and the 80s camp is part of its charm—it’s hard to imagine that translating well into a modern film. However, Egerton insisted that this remake would have been something different than the typical Hollywood cash-grab. “I think it is worthy of a reboot,” he explained. “Some reboots are cynical but some are inspired… I wish it would come back around but it’s out of my hands, unfortunately.”