‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Gets a Prequel with ‘Leatherface’ Because Even Cannibals Have Backstories

Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

New Line Cinema

We all know Leatherface, the human flesh-masked villain of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, but do any of us really know him, like on a personal level? Maybe he had hopes and dreams and plans for his future before he started capturing unsuspecting tourists, impaling them on meat hooks and turning them into prize-winning chili. No judgment; maybe his aspirations and goals were actually to become the town’s most feared and respected cannibal chef — if so, he definitely succeeded. But a new film is finally going to reveal exactly what went on in the days before The Texas Chainsaw Massacre taught audiences a thing or two about the phrase “stranger danger.”

Simply and effectively titled Leatherface, according to The Wrap this prequel is an origin story for one of the horror genre’s most iconic faces (covered in other faces, so many terrible faces) set in the 1970s. At this point, the plot details are being kept under wraps (again, like someone’s horrible face), so it’s unclear what Leatherface’s actual life before the whole “gruesome torture and murder phase” entailed, but it’s a safe bet that things weren’t all sunshine and roses.

Although the film is currently without a director, Leatherface will be scripted by up and comer Seth M. Sherwood, who knows his way around horror — he currently has a “supernatural thriller” in the works with Blumhouse, which is slated to be directed by Greg Plotkin (Paranormal Activity 5). He also penned a fantastic twisted psychological thriller about the children of a serial killer (how fitting) called Interstate 5, which was voted to the 2012 Blood List.

Sherwood now has the task in front of him to differentiate this iteration of the Texas Chainsaw family from the countless others that have come before it. There have been sequels and remakes and reimaginings, most recently last year’s Texas Chainsaw 3D. And there is actually already a prequel that explores Leatherface’s origins, 2006’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. That was the sequel to the 2003 remake of the original film. In it we learned that Leatherface was abandoned as a baby after his mother died while giving birth in a meat-packing plant. As an adult, he works in the same plant, squires a chainsaw at some point and the rest is history.

Leatherface is intended to be a prequel to the 1974 film that started it all by Tobe Hooper, but it’s possible given the sprawling nature of the franchise at this point that they could borrow details from other films in the series to dial-up the gore to maximum levels. While there’s already that prequel in existence, Leatherface seems like the biopic version of a beloved horror story. Think of this as Texas Chainsaw‘s Maleficent.

Now who to play Leatherface?

In childhood, Samantha had a Mary Katherine Gallagher-esque flair for the dramatic, as well as the same penchant for Lifetime original movies. And while she can still quote the entire monologue from A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story, her tastes in film have luckily changed. During an interview, director Tommy Wiseau once called her a “good reporter, but not that intimidating if we’re being honest.” She once lived in Chinatown and told her neighbor Jake to “forget it” so many times that he threatened to stop talking to her.

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