The horror flick Oculus tells the story of a beautiful antique mirror whose most recent owners, siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillan) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites), are struggling to rebuild their relationship after the gruesome demise of their parents, 10 years earlier. While the two attempt to uncover the truth, they also begin to turn on each other, as the malevolent supernatural force of the mirror infects their minds and reflects their own insecurities.
At the film’s press day, Collider spoke to executive producer Jason Blum, of Blumhouse Productions, for this exclusive interview about how much of a luxury it was to get to watch a completed film before signing on as a producer, why he would have passed on this project, if he’d only had the script to go on, what most struck him about the story, his favorite stand-out moments, the next possible step in found footage movies, and more. He also provided updates and details on Amityville, Area 51, and Sinister 2. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Mark Duplass got his start in very low-budget independent cinema with dramatic films like The Puffy Chair, Cyrus, and Jeff, Who Lives At Home, which he co-wrote and co-directed with his brother Jay Duplass. Recently, Mark teamed up with producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions—the studio behind the low-budget horror movement that has spawned Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Sinister franchises—for a different kind of low-budget feature: a psychological horror film called Creep. The film revolves around a man (Patrick Brice) who answers a cryptic online ad asking for a filming service. He arrives at a remote location and begins filming his subject, Josef (Duplass), but as the day goes on, he begins to suspect Josef isn’t really who he says he is.
The pic recently debuted at the SXSW Film Festival to a positive response, and not only has RADiUS-TWC now picked the film up for distribution, but it has also signed on to carry out a trilogy of Creep films. Hit the jump for more on the latest horror franchise.
The Purge was one of 2013′s sleepers, and Blumhouse Productions doesn’t wait to jump on sequel opportunities. Their surprise hits—Paranormal Activity and Insidious—both got sequels, Sinister 2 is in development, and The Purge: Anarchy is due out on July 18th.
We recently spoke to Blumhouse Productions head Jason Blum for his latest film Oculus. During the interview, Blum also talked about The Purge franchise, how they wanted to expand on the original Purge, how he can see a new Purge movie coming out every year like they do with the Paranormal Activity franchise, and more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
I was incredibly bummed when Joe Carnahan‘s Stretch was pulled from the calendar. I’m a huge fan of the director (The Grey was my favorite film of 2012), and Stretch has a catchy premise: Patrick Wilson plays a chauffeur who picks up a difficult and devious billionaire, played in a cameo by Chris Pine. As the night goes on, their interaction leads to increasingly dangerous encounters. Jessica Alba, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms, and Ray Liotta also appear in the film. The movie was supposed to have a wide release, but Universal concluded it would be unwise to spend $20 million to $40 million to distribute the movie, so they dropped it.
Yesterday, we spoke with producer Jason Blum for his new film, Oculus, and he also provided an update on the status of Stretch, and when we might finally see the film. Hit the jump for more.
Director Jon M. Chu and producers Jason Blum and Scooter Braun recently announced they were making a Jem and the Holograms movie and even asked for fan submissions to help cast the picture. It turns out they were further along in the process than I ever would have guessed.
Earlier today we caught up with Blum to talk about the horror flick Oculus, and towards the end of the interview we asked about Jem. Blum says the movie will be PG and start shooting in just three weeks. The producer also explained why this cartoon adaptation fits his business model when he’s usually associated with horror fare. Check out everything Blum had to say about Jem and the Holograms after the jump.
It’s not April Fools’ Day. I’ve checked five or six times. Following on the heels of the fake James Bond 24 trailer, I thought the announcement of a Jem and the Holograms movie from G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu and The Purge producer Jason Blum was also a joke. It is not. It is a twisted reality where they along with producer Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) want to adapt the 1980s animated series, which was [per Wikipedia] “about music company owner Jerrica Benton, her singer alter-ego Jem, her band the Holograms, and their adventures.”
Hit the jump for more.
Universal Pictures has nixed plans to release Joe Carnahan’s comedy-thriller Stretch on its scheduled March 21st release date. Although it made our “Most Anticipated” list for the first quarter of 2014, no replacement date is currently set up. It’s a bit of an odd move, especially for the normally successful production banner of Jason Blum, Blumhouse Productions, which specializes in turning low-budget pictures into big box office returns. Universal allowed Blum to shop the picture to other distributors, but when a deal couldn’t be reached, the rights reverted back to the studio, which is now “exploring creative options” for release. Hit the jump for more.
[Update: We've updated the article with comments on the situation from Carnahan himself.]
Universal had a sleeper hit with the horror film The Purge earlier this summer, so naturally they need to get a sequel out as quickly as possible. The studio has sent out a press release announcing “the next chapter of The Purge” will be released on June 20, 2014. For those who didn’t see the first film, it’s a speculative thriller where all crimes are legal during the annual “Purge”, which preserves peace and prosperity for the other 364 days of the year. During the Purge, a well-to-do family is attacked when they rescue an injured citizen from a violent mob. Writer/director/producer James DeMonaco will produce alongside other returning producers Jason Blum, Sébastien K. Lemercier, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form. It’s a fairly quick turnaround, so perhaps the sequel will stick to the small scale of the original.
The Purge sequel will share the weekend with the comedy Think Like a Man Too and Clint Eastwood‘s screen adaptation of the musical Jersey Boys.
In this job, I get to do some really cool things, and one such cool thing happened when I was recently given the opportunity to tour the new Insidious: Into the Further maze for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, taking place on select nights from September 20th through November 2nd, prior to its debut. Walking through each scene, accompanied by the film’s producer Jason Blum and HHN creative director John Murdy, it was clear how much time and thought was put into every little detail.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, Jason Blum and John Murdy talked about how this particular maze came about, what it’s like to see a movie brought to life in this way, how long they spend planning out the mazes, figuring out which scenes to include, that they’ll have about 40 performers in the maze, that they’re already thinking about the next movie they can collaborate on a maze for, and whether they’re tempted to get dressed up and scare people themselves. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Fresh off the box office success of Insidious: Chapter Two and the announcement of a third Insidious pic, producer Jason Blum’s horror shingle Blumhouse Productions has set its sights on a new franchise. Deadline reports that Aaron Eckhart will lead Incarnate with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director Brad Peyton set to helm. Penned by Ronnie Christensen (Passengers), the film follows “an unconventional exorcist who can tap into the subconscious of the possessed.” Said exorcist meets his match when he confronts his next case, a 9-year-old boy possessed by a demon from his past. Filming is poised to begin next month.
Blumhouse has made a habit of churning out low budget, high profit horror pics over the past few years, starting off with the Paranormal Activity franchise and continuing with other hits like Sinister and The Purge. Peyton had been attached to helm an adaptation of the comics character Lobo for Warner Bros., but it’s unclear if he’s still involved with that project. No matter, Incarnate certainly sounds like a promising premise to tackle in the meantime.
Having played in limited release since August, director James Ponsoldt‘s high school drama The Spectacular Now finally made its way to my Midwestern neck of the woods this weekend and I jumped at the chance to see it last night. Although it elicited fewer laughs than I expected, the film levied an emotional punch that I’m still shaking off today. As has been noted by many before me, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley‘s performances are fantastic and their chemistry is palpable from beginning to end (one scene in which Woodley’s Aimee describes her dreams of a perfect marriage stands out to me in particular). Moreover, Kyle Chandler‘s turn as Teller’s estranged father is as powerful as it is short-lived. If you have the slightest interest in the coming-of-age genre, and this film is playing nearby, take the time to see it. Few in the genre capture the nuance of high-school love and personal demons as honestly as The Spectacular Now.
With that ringing endorsement behind me, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of Insidious: Chapter 2 interviews, Adam keeping his finger on the pulse of awards season with his recurring Oscar Beat feature, news that Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling are teaming up for a new film series inspired by Harry Potter, a new installment of Cinemath that takes a look at the history of movie ticket prices, and a recap of our robust TIFF 2013 coverage. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Opening in theaters this weekend is James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2. The follow-up to the 2011 surprise hit picks up exactly where the first left off with the Lambert family thrust into a world of psychics, demons and ghosts. Insidious put an entirely original spin on the haunted house subgenre with its unique third act, and Chapter 2 digs deeper into that universe traveling further into the, well, Further and answering any last lingering fan questions. Insidious: Chapter 2 stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, and Ty Simpkins.
A few weeks ago at a Los Angeles press day I got to sit down with producer Jason Blum for an exclusive interview. He talked about bringing back the entire cast from the first film, the creative freedom of low-budget films, going where he’s needed as a producer, attracting name actors to small genre projects, and more. He also gave updates on Stretch and Mockingbird. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
The Purge rode an intriguing hook—for a twelve-hour period every year, all crime is legal—to gross $36.4 million at the box office this weekend on a lean $3 million budget. Given the high return on investment and repeatable premise, you know what comes next: Universal and producer Jason Blum have announced development on The Purge 2.
The Purge is essentially a home invasion thriller that centers on a family played by Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, and Adelaide Kane. I imagine the studio and Blum will explore the greater Purge universe to find a new story, so there is no guarantee the cast will return. At this stage, it is also not clear if writer/director James De Monaco will return. See Blum’s Twitter announcement after the jump.
Between the record-breaking grosses of May and next week’s Man of Steel launch, this was supposed to be a quiet weekend at the box office. Universal’s The Purge had other plans. The low-budget horror film took first place and more than doubled its pre-release projections with an estimated $36.4 million from 2,536 locations. The box office bonanza did not extend to The Internship, however. The comedy opened in fourth with an estimated $18.1 million – half of what The Purge realized in 800 fewer theatres.
|| The Purge
|| Fast & Furious 6
|| Now You See Me
|| The Internship
|| Star Trek Into Darkness
|| After Earth
|| The Hangover III
|| Iron Man 3
|| The Great Gatsby
For all of the uneasiness I felt watching The Internship play as a not so subtle promo for Google’s portfolio of services (what in the hell is Google Wallet?), the movie painted a dichotomy that I found interesting. While far from perfect, I thought the film did a nice job of contrasting the eternal optimism of a couple Gen X’ers with the often harsh practicality and cynicism I see embedded in myself and many of my fellow Millennials. Although this is hardly the platform from which to dive into a generational debate, The Internship at least introduced the idea that belonging to a generation that has had the wealth of the world’s knowledge at their fingertips for a good portion of their lives (not to mention video games and the lack of a military draft) faces a whole new set of unique challenges and insecurities. At the same time, it also sent an oft-overlooked truth that we (Millennials) don’t know it all, haven’t seen it all, and the “Culture of Meh” that we often embrace is cynical bullshit that I can only hope life experience will help pull us out of.
In addition to my “meh” soapbox, this week’s Top 5 offers The Internship interviews with Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Rose Byrne, the first trailer and a set visit recap for director James Wan‘s Insidious: Chapter 2, a truckload of set images from X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Purge interviews with Ethan Hawke and more, and a look at the WGA’s list of the “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time”. Check out a brief recap and link to each after the jump.