Plan 9 From Outer Space remake really happening — filming starts Friday!

You might have thought it was a joke — and indeed, it started as a sort of joke among friends — but the remake of notorious trash masterpiece Plan 9 From Outer Space is going forward.

The remake starts filming this Friday in Roanoake, VA, and writer/director John Johnson says it'll be a more or less straight-up reimagining of Ed Wood Jr.'s classic — an action/horror film tinged with humor, in the vein of Fright Night. We showed you the teaser trailer for the remake back in Sept. 2009, but it's taken this long to get the actual filming off the ground. Johnson aims to wrap filming by April 25, and release the result on DVD.

Johnson tells the Roanoake Times that the idea of remaking Plan 9 started out as a joke but became serious after his friends got interested:

As he puts it, "Who in their right mind would remake the worst film of all time?"

He didn't start out with a grand plan to remake "Plan 9." While on the set of a different movie, Johnson was griping about Hollywood's penchant to crank out bad remakes of well-regarded horror films. Someone asked him what film he'd like to see remade. His answer was "Plan 9 from Outer Space." He sent an email to his friends in film circles sharing this thought, not meaning it as a serious commitment.

The email got forwarded. News items appeared in venues such as the horror trade journal Fangoria reporting that he'd be doing the remake, Johnson said. When that happened, he looked into what it would take to secure the rights and discovered the film is in the public domain.