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THE AMITYVILLE HORROR

About The Production (Continued)
While Williams and her production design team were busy with construction, the filmmakers were immersed in the critical task of casting the character driven screenplay. The focal point of the story is George Lutz, a loving husband and father who becomes possessed by the evil forces lurking in his new home.

"Although George is a very likeable character in the beginning of the film, he slowly becomes obsessed with the house,” says Form. "It starts to have physical effect on him. The closer he gets to the basement, the more extreme his physical symptoms become and the more severe his personality changes. It's a pretty complex character – in some ways the house becomes a material manifestation of George, and in other ways George is representative of everything evil that is going on in the house.” In order for the film to work, the filmmakers needed a young actor who could seamlessly create the multi-dimensional character whose arc in the film ranges from loving father to mentally deranged killer.

"One of the first things we discovered before casting the film was how young the real characters were when these events took place in 1975,” says Fuller. "George Lutz was only 28 and Kathy Lutz was 30. They played it much older in the original movie, but we wanted to cast the roles true to their actual age.

"We also wanted to get actors who haven't been seen in these kinds of roles before,” Fuller continues. "When Ryan Reynolds came in and met with us, it felt like a really fresh idea because he is so well known for his comedy. Ryan embodied everything we wanted George Lutz to be: charming and wonderful, but with the acting chops to spin it and get very harsh and evil.”

Reynolds, who rose to fame after his title role in the hit comedy Van Wilder, was initially hesitant when he first heard of the project. "I had some trepidation about the project when I heard the word ‘remake,' because those types of films tend to be a bit gratuitous,” he says. "That feeling quickly dissipated after I read the script, which more closely followed the book. I found it intriguing they wanted to hire me. George Lutz was a pretty intense guy, and the film is basically about a man's struggle to maintain his sanity while being drawn into this vortex of evil. Most of my work has been in the comedy genre, so it's a dream role to get a chance to play a character that has a trajectory from A to Z.”

"What's interesting about the character is that it poses the question: does the madness walk into the house, or does the house cause the madness?” says director Douglas. "We tried to make George Lutz as subtly flawed as we could, because we wanted to make a film that would work on both a supernatural and psychological level. "For the film to work it was vital for the George Lutz character to be very likable at the beginning of the film,” continues Douglas. "You have to love the character in the beginning to hate him in the end. Ryan brought a charm and likeability to the character that wasn't necessarily written on the page. Getting an audience to love him, hate him and then bring him back again is not easy for an actor to do, but Ryan pulled it off in spades.” Shortly after moving into the new home, Kathy Lutz begins to sense subtle changes in her husband's behavior and demeanor. As George grows more distant with each passing day, Kathy struggles to keep her family together. In casting the role, the filmmakers tuned to versatile actress Melissa George, who was coming off a memorable season as Jennifer Garner's nemesis on the hit television show Alias.

"When we cas

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