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December 6, 2002
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SJP


Invasion of werewolves
By STEVE TILLEY


EDMONTON -- If you think the neighbour's cat using your vegetable garden as a litter box is bad, just wait until next month when Edmonton gets overrun by werewolves.

Location scouts are in E-ville this week seeking settings for Toronto-based 49th Parallel Films' Ginger Snaps 2 and Ginger Snaps 3, a sequel and prequel to last year's smart and scary teen werewolf flick Ginger Snaps, one of the top-grossing Canadian films of 2001.

The films will shoot back-to-back in Edmonton from January through May, with Ginger Snaps 2 being a direct sequel of the first film (Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle will return to reprise their roles as cursed sisters Brigitte and Ginger), and Ginger Snaps 3 a prequel Ginger Snaps set in the 18th century and delving into the werewolves' histories.

"We've always prided ourselves on Ginger Snaps being a teen horror flick with an edge, and also that it was distinctly Canadian; it had that sort of Canadian wry sense of humour," executive producer Noah Segal said yesterday from his Toronto office.

With much of the Ginger Snaps creative team being from Alberta - including John Fawcett, the original film's director, who was born in Edmonton - the decision to shoot here in the province was an easy one.

Bringing the production specifically to Edmonton also seemed like a logical choice, since the setting of the first film was inspired by our very own 'burbs.

"We envisioned Bailey Downs, the home town of the girls in the original film, being one of the suburbs - really, modelled off Sherwood Park," said Segal, who originally hails from Calgary.

"The third film is a prequel set in the 1700s, and we're using Fort Edmonton," Segal said. "It's a great location, and everybody there has been great to welcome the production."

Segal said Edmonton also has the necessary indoor facilities and skilled local crews to make the shoot here an attractive proposition. The films' budgets will likely land in the same range as the roughly $4 million spent on the first film, though the new movies will offer more bang for the buck.

"These are going to be bigger, faster, scarier movies than the first one. There's going to be more werewolves and lots of action and keeping that wry sense of humour," said Segal, adding Brett Sullivan will direct Ginger Snaps 2 while Grant Harvey takes the reins of Ginger Snaps 3.

"We're going to add some other thrills and chills, some other new characters, new threads that are hopefully going to create characters that have the same appeal, that people want to see more from."

While Ginger Snaps was a modest success during its theatrical release, the home video sales - fuelled by an international cult following - have propelled the film's popularity through the roof, particularly in markets like Britain and Hong Kong.

"The movie sells like crazy on DVD," Segal said. "It's pretty weird how much it sells, so we're psyched."

Meanwhile, cast and crew are preparing to roll into the city by the end of next month to begin shooting, and Ginger Snaps 2 will likely be released by Seville Pictures before the end of next year.

"Hopefully within the year you'll see Edmonton on the silver screen across the country."


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