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.
Rob Zombie will direct the thriller The Lords of Salem this spring. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Zombie’s script is “set in contemporary Salem, where the inhabitants receive a demonic visit from a 300-year old coven of witches.” I’m sure the coven comes by because they heard how swimmingly everything went for witches the last time they were in Salem area. The film will be backed by Haunted Movies, which is a partnership between the UK’s Alliance films and Paranormal Activity producers Jason Blum, Oren Peli, and Steven Schneider. Haunted Movies plans to sell the rights to The Lords of Salem at the European Film Market in Berlin. They’ll also be showing footage from Barry Levinson’s upcoming film The Bay.
Several unknowns have been tapped to star in Barry Levinson’s upcoming horror film The Bay (aka Isopod.) According to Bloody Disgusting, the film stars Will Rogers as “Alex,” Steven Kunken as “Dr. Abrams,” Kether Donohue as “Donna,” Frank Deal as “John Stockman,” Christopher Denham as “Sam,” and Kristin Connolly as “Stephanie”. The film is currently shooting from a screenplay written by Michael Wallach which tells the story of a biological disaster that takes place in the Chesapeake Bay on July 4th, 2011. An isopod parasite carries mutated diseases and infects fish and human hosts, replacing them with itself. The true extent of the disaster isn’t known until seven years later, when the truth is revealed through home videos taken by residents of the town. Paranormal Activity’s producers of Jason Blum, Oren Peli, and Steven Schneider are producing along with Brian Kavanagh Jones.
Wayne McClammy, the director of the hilarious Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel shorts “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” and “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck,” is in negotiations with Universal to direct their upcoming comedy Desperados. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Isla Fisher may star in the project, which is currently in development. Mark Gordon and Jason Blum will produce the film written by Ellen Rapaport which is described as a “female version of The Hangover.” The film is about a woman who sends her new boyfriend an angry email when he doesn’t contact her after they have sex, but it turns out he’s in a coma in a hospital in Mexico so she and her friends go to erase the email before he wakes up. Production is set to start by the end of the year.
Hit the jump to check out “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” and “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck”.
While the minds behind The First Avenger: Captain America are consistently frustrating fans with their ever-growing grocery list of potential on-camera talent, the sequel to one of the biggest horror movies of all time is having a similar problem behind the camera.
Last month, Collider reported that Brian De Palma (Scarface, Carrie) was one of many directors being considered to direct Paranormal Activity 2. That rumor seems to have lost its steam with Shock’s report claiming that screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, whose works include A Beautiful Mind (for which he won an Oscar) and Batman & Robin, will be announced as the sequel’s director.
However, it has just been reported that the rumor is not true. Hit the jump to find out the current state of the production team behind the sequel and to find out when we should expect an official director announcement.