From Jason Blum (Insidious, Sinister) and Josh Gates (Destination Truth), Stranded is the new Syfy reality series that uses the same stripped-down first-person method from Paranormal Activity to document an unconventional and terrifying paranormal and psychological experiment, in which participants are stranded at haunted location for a week and must record the entire experience themselves. Each of the six hour-long episodes features the self-recorded footage of a group of everyday paranormal enthusiasts, combined with strategically-placed security cameras at each location.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, executive producer Jason Blum talked about how Stranded came about and why he thought it was a great fit for what he’d already done on the narrative side, the process of selecting the individuals and locations for the show, how he got some fun ideas for future movies while they were scouting possible haunted locations, and where his love for genre and horror started. He also talked about how he expects Paranormal Activity 5 to go into production in middle to late Spring for an October release, why he and the film’s partners thought there was further story to be explored for Insidious 2, what made him want to collaborate with Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, Glee) on a modern-day remake of The Town that Dreaded Sundown, that he hopes Area 51 will be released soon, and that he’s not currently juggling quite as many projects as IMDB would lead you to believe. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The new Syfy reality series Stranded, which debuted on February 27th, documents an unconventional and often terrifying paranormal and psychological experiment. Each episode features the self-recorded footage of a diverse group of every-day paranormal enthusiasts who are left stranded at one of the most haunted locations in America and record the entire experience with hand-held cameras creating an unscripted first-hand account of their stay.
While we will share what executive producer Jason Blum had to say about the new show next week, we did want to share his updates on some of his current and upcoming feature films. Blum told Collider that he expect Paranormal Activity 5 to go into production in middle to late Spring for an October release and that he hopes that franchise will remain ongoing, why he and the film’s partners thought there was further story to be explored for Insidious 2, what made him want to collaborate with Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, Glee) on a modern-day remake of The Town that Dreaded Sundown and why he thinks that will appeal to audiences, that he hopes Area 51 will be released soon, and that he’s not currently juggling quite as many projects as IMDB would lead you to believe. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions is following the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought when it comes to micro-budget horror franchises. Having seen great success with the Paranormal Activity series and with the second installment of Insidious due out later this summer, a sequel to last fall’s Sinister is now in the works. Reportedly made for $3 million and bringing in around $80 million worldwide, the money is clearly behind forging ahead with establishing a third franchise. Fans of the original will be happy to hear that the creative talent behind the camera will reunite for the sequel. Hit the jump for more.
MGM’s remake of the 1976 horror film The Town That Dreaded Sundown is moving forward, and some major players have boarded the project behind the scenes. We first learned that the remake was in development this past November, but now Heat Vision reports that Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy is teaming up with producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity franchise, Insidious) on the project. The original slasher film was based on five unsolved, grisly murders in 1946 Texarkana and became a cult hit.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is in talks to direct the horror remake, which has a script by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Carrie remake, Glee). Gomez-Rejon has previously helmed a number of episodes of Glee and American Horror Story: Asylum, and is also a prolific second-unit director who most recently worked on Argo. This new Sundown is said to keep the original film’s cinema verite style with an added procedural element akin to Zodiac. Murphy also revealed that they’re doing a “weird meta thing with it,” whatever that means. Production is gearing up to begin this spring. Hit the jump to watch the trailer for the original film.
A couple of interesting acquisitions have been announced. First up, Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions—known for its small budget, big profit model with the Paranormal Activity films and Insidious—has acquired a found footage movie called Peachfuzz, produced by the incredibly hard working brothers Mark and Jay Duplass. Plot details on the project are being kept under lock and key, but Mark stars in the film that centers on a young man who answers a Craigslist ad “and gets much more than he bargained for.” Production on the Patrick Brice film has already wrapped.
Hit the jump for news regarding writer/director Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson.
Things are moving quickly on the sequel to 2011’s horror hit Insidious. We learned this February that director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell were reteaming for the follow-up, and FilmDistrict announced today that Insidious Chapter 2 will be hitting theaters on August 30, 2013. Wan is again directing from a script by Whannell, and Jason Blum is back to produce through his Blumhouse Productions company. Moreover, the first film’s cast of Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins will also be back to reprise their roles.
Not plot details are given, but production on the low-budget sequel is set to begin on January 15, 2013. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
It’s easy to forget about it since it came out so early, but for my money director Joe Carnahan’s survival drama The Grey is still one of the best films of 2012. It was considerably more low-key than his last pic, The A-Team, but I felt that Carnahan and Liam Neeson crafted something really special. It looks as though the director may be sticking with “low-key” for his next project, as he’s now set to direct Patrick Wilson in the low-budget actioner Stretch for IM Global and Blumhouse Pictures, the studio behind the Paranormal Activity series, Sinister, and Insidious.
Hit the jump for more.
The fourth installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise literally opened in theaters three days ago, but Paramount has already given a greenlight and a Halloween 2013 release date for Paranormal Activity 5. Though the decision isn’t exactly a shock, many expected Paramount to take a bit more time to figure out how to move forward with the series in the wake of Paranormal Activity 4’s relatively disappointing box office numbers. The found footage horror pic scored only $30 million domestically this weekend, falling short of the opening weekend takes of PA 2 and PA 3. Hit the jump for more.
Director/co-writer Scott Derrickson’s horror film Sinister scored big at the box office this past weekend, and now he’s teaming back up with Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Pictures (the studio behind the Paranormal Activity films) to tackle a Stephen King adaptation. Deadline reports that Derrickson will direct an adaptation of The Breathing Method, a story found in King’s collection Different Seasons.
The story opens in an exclusive gentleman’s club where the only price for membership is the telling of stories. One man begins to recount the tale of a woman in the 1930s who was determined to give birth to her illegitimate child, no matter the cost. She seeks out the physician author of a book on the Breathing Method of childbirth, and grows close with the doctor as her determination fails to wane. Scott Teems (That Evening Sun) will write the script, and the film will likely follow Blumhouse’s “low budget, high profit” model.
With the horror-franchise Paranormal Activity going strong (the three movies released so far have brought in an excess of half-a-billion dollars) and recent religious horror films doing well in the box office (The Devil Inside), the Paranormal Activity folks are turning their attention to a film that explores Catholic-based paranormal mythology. The twist on this offshoot is that they’re targeting the Latino community, an increasingly important market for movie studios. While the horror flick will feature a Latino cast, the film will not be in Spanish. Paranormal Activity producers Jason Blum and Oren Peli will reunite with writer Christopher Landon, who will write and direct the project for Paramount. Hit the jump for more info.
Almost two years ago, a bevy of board games were targeted for big-screen adaptations. Stretch Armstrong, Monopoly, Candy Land, Clue, etc. have all been in the development line towards big-screen adaptations, but recently (and on the heels of the release of Battleship) movement on the aforementioned projects has slowed. McG was set to direct an adaptation of the supernatural game Ouija, but Universal decided to pass on the project back in August. Hasbro continued to develop Ouija, and after numerous rewrites, the studio has now changed its mind and is now moving forward with a completely retooled version of Ouija for a targeted 2013 release.
Compared to McG’s previous $100 million Ouija, Deadline reports that this new version will be produced by Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum for a budget close to $5 million. Blum has made a name for himself with low budget/high profit films like the Paranormal Activity series and Insidious, and now it appears Universal plans to take that approach with Ouija. Hit the jump for more.
Director Joe Johnston is making a radical departure for his follow-up feature after last year’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The Jurassic Park III helmer has signed on to direct the micro-budget thriller Not Safe for Work. Written by Adam Mason and Simon Boyes, THR reports that the film centers on a young paralegal who is trapped in an office with a killer on a mission to destroy files for another corporation. Johnston is used to working with considerably larger budgets on films like The Wolfman and The Rocketeer, but Not Safe for Work will be made for a mere $2.5 million.
The pic is set up at Universal and will be made through Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Pictures. Blum is no stranger to the small budget/big profit model, as he produced all three Paranormal Activity films as well as one of the most profitable films of last year, Insidious. Captain America grossed over $360 million worldwide, so I’d say Johnston is allowed to do whatever the hell he wants with his follow-up picture. It’ll be interesting to see the director adapt to such a small scale, and I’m intrigued to find out what Johnston saw in the story that made him take such a big risk.
From Jason Blum, the producer who brought you the Paranormal Activity series and the 2011 surprise hit Insidious, comes another low-budget horror movie titled Vigilandia. Being called a “futuristic thriller” for Universal, there’s not much else we know about the picture at present. What we do know is that Ethan Hawke (Training Day) is expected to star. James DeMonaco (Little New York) will direct from a script that he wrote and plans to begin production on February 13th. Vigilandia will be a joint production effort among Blumhouse Productions, Platinum Dunes and Why Not Productions. This will be the first picture under Blumhouse’s new deal with Universal after Blum produced the previously mentioned horror success stories. Hit the jump for more.
Last week, we let you know that Ethan Hawke had signed on to star in a low-budget, found footage horror film from director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose). Although details on the film were sparse at that time, info is beginning to bleed out now that Summit Entertainment has acquired U.S. domestic rights to the pic. According to Deadline, the film will see Hawke take on the role of a journalist who moves his family from corner to corner so as to get the skinny on gruesome murders that he then adapts into books. As the story goes, Hawke and co. move into a house where an entire family was murdered, only to find said footage which lets them in on what really happened.
It’s believed that the project will cost less than $5 million to make with Paranormal Activity and Insidious‘ Jason Blum co-producing alongside Brian Kavanaugh-Jones’ Automatik Entertainment. Given Blum’s track record of turning low-budget horror projects into profit, I’d say there is minimal risk at play here at least from Summit’s perspective. The studio is expected to follow the tried and true formula of releasing the pic, which Derrickson co-wrote with C. Robert Cargill, to limited theaters initially with a commitment for potential wide release to follow.
Producer Jason Blum (Insidious) is teaming up with director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) for a new horror-mystery. 24 Frames reports that the plot for the untitled film is still under wraps, but it’s said to be a “horror story with a crime at the center.” Blum’s Insidious was made on a tiny budget of $2 million but so far has raked in almost $50 million domestically.
The small-budget large-return model will be used yet again for this new film. I quite liked The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and enjoyed the way Derrickson handle both the horror and courtroom drama genres with equal gravitas. Hopefully he can do the same this time, with the new untitled flick going for more than the cheap gore thrills and jump-scares. Derrickson is aiming for a summer shoot. No word on casting at the moment.