Update: The Search for Gila Monster Fodder Begins!

Though the final cast list for the upcoming The Giant Gila Monster remake by co-directors Tony Randel and Jim Wynorski has been doing the rounds — including the interesting news that original Giant Gila Monster (1959) star Don Sullivan (above) is returning in the remake — what the Backbrain has been told by the guys from the Franklin, Indiana film festival, The B Movie Celebration, is that the SyFy Channel monster movie, currently being filmed under the title Gila! is in need of Gila Monster chow.

They are seeking 100 extras to act in the film Gila! Set in Franklin Indiana, Gila!
tells the story of a small Mid-West town that’s being ravaged by a giant mutated gila monster. (Hey! It happens all the time!) A scene to be shot in Franklin at Franklin college is a typically period sock hop that takes place at the closing of the film. (If you don’t know what a “sock hop” is, check out the 1959 version, or any number of 1950s teen flicks…)

“We are shooting 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM December 16th at the Fitness center in Franklin college in Franklin Indiana,” our correspondent told us. “We are looking for extras to dress in jeans, white t-shirt (plain) and running shoes.”

So, want to get eaten by a giant Gila Monster? Head for the Franklin college Fitness Center and you can be on the menu! The address is: The Franklin College Fitness Center, Grizzly Drive, Franklin, Indiana.

For more on the remake, see this previous Backbrain article.

The Return of Don Sullivan

At this stage we don’t know what kind of role original Giant Gila Monster star Don Sullivan has in the remake — or whether his ukelele will make a cameo appearance or even have some “lines” of its own — but it’s great to see an old veteran return to the screen in a remake of what may be his most famous — or infamous — role — 50 years on.

Don Sullivan (and ukelele) at Monster Bash 2008, where he was a guest

The whole thing is rather like the return to the screen of James Best in the remake of his own low-budget exploitation classic, The Killer Shrews, also from 1959 — Return of the Killer Shrews (US-2012; dir. Steve Latshaw). In fact, in a further synchronicity, the production company for both original The Killer Shrews and The Giant Gila Monster films had intended them to be released as part of a double feature. Maybe the remakes will play together in a double one of these days!

For completeness’ sake, the final cast of Gila! consists of Brian Gross, Madeline Voges, Christine De Rosa, Jesse Janzen, Terence Knox (seen below as the Sheriff), Kelli Maroney, Gerard Pauwels, Rich Komenich and, of course, Don Sullivan.

In the Gallery below there are a bunch of on-location production pictures, courtesy of producer/screenwriter Bill Dever.


  • Addendum: We’ve now been told that there will be no actual reptiles involved in the creation of the giant gila monster. The monster will, contrary to previous reports, be made via digital FX.

Source: Bill Dever via Avery Guerra

This entry was posted in Exploitation films, Film, Giant Monsters, Monsters in general, Remake and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Update: The Search for Gila Monster Fodder Begins!

  1. Ryan Hughes says:

    I was an extra in the dance sequences shot in Franklin on December 16th. It was a fun but we were kind of short in numbers (I am 48 and my dance partner couldn’t have been more then seventeen.) I told her it was a father/ daughter dance. It was fun and I would love the chance to work with Jim again. This is my sixth film as an extra and I was impressed by how quickly he works without skimping on attention to detail.

  2. Dannie Hoffer says:

    I was in the Movie Gila Monster. I had my car in the chase scene. I have the 1952 Chevy Red and White. I was very pleased and honored to have been part of this movie. I also hope it is a big hit at the theaters.
    Thank You
    Dannie Hoffer

  3. Dwane Martin says:

    This is the first movie that I was ever in as far as I know I own the 1958 black Chevrolet Impala I am impressed about how the director knows what he wanted to get but what got me the most is how many times they would shoot the same scene over and over the one in particular is when my 58 collided with the light pole first shot looked perfect to me I even observed it on the video replay and my exact words was it looks great approaching a poll about 40 miles an hour and sunning on the brakes before I hit the pole and not bending up anything I thought was great until they said do that again about eight more times that I don’t understand but it come out quite nicely.

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