Penn Badgley Remade a Movie Without Watching the Original

Penn Badgley has been in several movies — including a remake of a cult classic. However, he didn’t bother to watch the original version of the film. Here’s a look at why he thought this was a good idea — and how the public reacted to the remake.

Penn Badgley wearing a white shirt
Penn Badgley | Jenny Anderson/Getty Images

The Stepfather was a 1980s slasher film starring Terry O’Quinn. O’Quinn is most known for his role as John Locke on Lost. The film is about a serial killer who regularly gets romantically involved with single mothers in the hopes of finding a new family — only to kill his new family when they disappoint him. The film is one of the more acclaimed 1980s slasher movies and it was popular enough to inspire a pair of sequels.

Remaking classic slasher films was popular in the 2000s. That decade saw remakes of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Black Christmas, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Prom Night, and several other films of the same genre. In 2009, the world got to see a remake of The Stepfather, with Badgley as the hero of the film. Notably, this was years before Badgley appeared as Joe in another serial killer-themed project — Netflix’s You.

A trailer for The Stepfather (1987)

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Why Penn Badgley refused to watch the original version of ‘The Stepfather’

While The Stepfather is one of the more famous slasher movies of the 1980s, Badgley never saw it prior to making his version. “I know that I personally did not watch the original,’ he told JoBlo. “I know that in the original I believe my character was a girl, and there are enough differences that I think I did not want to have any predisposed ideas about it or to mess with what I wanted to do with the character and the development and the art. And so I think probably the night we wrapped, I might watch the original with a bottle of whiskey or something. I have not had a drink in two months and I’m getting the shakes so I think it would be nice.”

Badgley wasn’t the only one in a similar situation. Badgley’s co-star in the remake, Dylan Walsh, hadn’t watched the original film either. “I did not watch the original,” he told JoBlo’s Jimmy O. “So if you have questions about the original, I don’t know about it. For the same reason. I did not want it to interfere.”

A trailer for The Stepfather (2009)

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Although Badgley and Walsh weren’t familiar with the original version of The Stepfather when they remade it, their remake still made money — just not a lot money compared to its budget. Box Office Mojo reports it earned over $11 million during its opening weekend and over $31 million overall. Considering it cost $20 million to make, it wasn’t much of a hit. Badgley and Walsh took an unorthodox approach to remaking a movie — and it didn’t seem to pay off financially.

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