Bill Murray and Steve Martin also appeared in minor roles in the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors movie, with R&B legend Levi Stubbs memorably providing the voice of the monster plant, Audrey II. The plant itself was a famously elaborate full-sized mechanical puppet that required 60 operators at its largest scale (one ton in weight) and a unique filming process, wherein human actors had to move and deliver their lines in slow-motion in order to “match” the puppet’s movements and dialogue being artificially sped-up in post-production. It is unknown whether the new film will feature a similar practical Audrey II, or opt for CGI instead.
The original play was conceived by musician Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, whose songs and script were re-used for the film. However, while the original dark ending of the play (where the plant eventually wins and an army of monster plants begin an all-out global assault on humanity) was shot, the expensive sequence was originally scrapped by the studio and replaced with a happy ending, after test audiences reacted negatively. Considered famously “lost” for decades, the footage was restored for a 2012 DVD release.
We’ll keep you updated on The Little Shop of Horrors as more information becomes available.