I know it can be hard to keep track of where the various horror franchises are in their reboot/remake/sequel/prequel cycles, so when I tell you TheWrap is reporting that a Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel called Leatherface is in the works, your first questions may well be, “Wait, didn’t they already make one of those? And isn’t there already a movie called Leatherface?” And you’d be sort of right. The first Texas Chain Saw Massacre came out in 1974, telling the story of a group of road-trippers who visit a family of grotesque cannibals, one of whom is a hulking masked freak named Leatherface. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 came out in 1986, bringing back Leatherface and his family for more murder. In 1990’s Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, the character became more of a generic Jason/Michael/Freddy-style super-predator. And then everything got complicated, with 1994’s quasi-remake Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (starring Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey!), 2003’s full-on remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 2006’s prequel-to-the-remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, and then 2013’s reboot/sequel-to-the-original, Texas Chainsaw 3-D.
Leatherface would be a prequel to Texas Chainsaw 3-D (and thus a prequel to the original 1974 film), telling the story of what Leatherface was like before all those stupid kids started showing up on his doorstep practically begging to be butchered and eaten. TheWrap writes that Seth M. Sherwood (currently attached to multiple as-yet-unreleased genre films) had been hired to pen Leatherface for Millennium Films, which made Texas Chainsaw 3-D. No director or cast has been set yet, and the plot is being kept a secret. (I hear it may involve chainsaws, but that’s off-the-record.) If all goes well, expect the sequel to Leatherface to follow, thus confusing the Texas Chainsaw timeline even further. If all doesn’t go well, expect another company to buy the rights to the franchise and start over yet again. Either way, we’re looking at a series with a surprisingly complicated mythology, given that it started out being about a family that just kills folks.