Focus Features has settled on a director for the third entry in the Insidious franchise. The studio announced today that screenwriter Leigh Whannell will take the helm of Insidious: Chapter 3 in addition to writing the horror sequel, taking over directing duties from James Wan who directed the first two Insidious films. In addition to scripting Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2, Whannell also co-created the Saw franchise with Wan. Insidious: Chapter 3 will mark his directorial debut, as Wan remains onboard as a producer while he’s busy directing Fast & Furious 7.
Production on the horror sequel is set to begin this summer on July 7th in anticipation of the film’s April 3, 2015 release date. Read the full press release after the jump.
LEIGH WHANNELL SIGNS ON TO DIRECT INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3
Whannell, Co-Creator of the INSIDIOUS and SAW Franchises, Will Also Write the
Next Installment of Blumhouse’s Terrifying Horror Franchise Which Starts Principal Photography on July 7
Santa Monica, CA May 7, 2014 – Focus Features, Entertainment One (eOne), Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) and Blumhouse Productions announced today that Leigh Whannell will direct the third chapter of the INSIDIOUS film franchise which he will also write. Focus Features, which acquired the rights to release INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 from FilmDistrict, plans to bring the film to U.S. theaters on April 3, 2015. eOne will distribute the picture in Canada, U.K. and Spain. Sony will distribute the picture in the rest of the world. Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions, which produced both INSIDIOUS and INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, is producing the next installment along with Oren Peli and James Wan. Whannell has written both INSIDIOUS and INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 which earned more than $40 million at the box office in its opening weekend making it one of the largest horror genre openings ever and one of the biggest openings for a film released in the month of September. Whannell most recently wrote and starred in the Sundance hit COOTIES, the SXSW darling THE MULE, and, along with Wan, co-created the hit SAW franchise. Steven Schneider, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Peter Schlessel, Lia Buman, and Xavier Marchand are executive producing. Principal photography of the movie is scheduled to start this summer on July 7th.
Peter Schlessel, Focus Features’ CEO, said, “It’s with great pleasure that we turn the INSIDIOUS franchise over to the co-creator Leigh Whannell. We are all excited to see in what direction Leigh takes the next installment and we are also glad to welcome James Wan to his new role as producer.”
Jason Blum, founder and CEO of Blumhouse said, “We are all excited to bring a third film to audiences and know James and Leigh have great things in store for our fans. eOne and SPWA have been incredible partners on the INSIDIOUS franchise and we look forward to working together along with Focus Features, James Wan and Leigh on the next installment.”
“We’re thrilled to join forces with Leigh, Jason, James and this incredible team once again. Alongside Focus Features and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, we are excited to bring another installment of this successful franchise to its loyal fans in our territories and around the world,” said Marchand.
Steve Bersch, President of SPWA, added, “We are greatly looking forward to bringing this next chapter of INSIDIOUS to the International audience, and with Leigh at the helm we’re confident INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 will live up to the high standards set by the franchise.”
The first INSIDIOUS told the story of Josh and Renai Lambert and their son Dalton, confronting the demons that possess the young boy. The project was picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and distributed by FilmDistrict in the US, eOne in Canada, U.K. and Spain, and IM Global in the rest of the world. It was released on April 1, 2011, and grossed $97 million worldwide. With the picture’s reported $1.5 million budget, it has led to the film being called the most profitable film of 2011.
INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, the terrifying sequel, followed the haunted Lambert family as they sought to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world. Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, and Barbara Hershey reprised their roles in the film directed by James Wan, who also directed the first installment. The film grossed $160 million worldwide.