Maria Bello has been set as the female lead in an upcoming untitled thriller produced by Insidious and Saw director James Wan. The Untitled ‘James Wan Presents’ Thriller (previously referred to as House of Horror) takes place during the aftermath of a horrific massacre of five college students who were brutally murdered inside an abandoned home. Bello will play the police department’s psychologist who, after interviewing one of the survivors, learns that the students were amateur ghost hunters who stumbled across “something truly terrifying” inside the house.
We previously heard that Bello was eyeing the role, but today Dimension Films confirmed the casting with a press release. The project is based on an idea by Wan and was scripted by Max La Bella. Wan will produce alongside Lee Clay (Beautiful Boy), with Will Cannon (Brotherhood) set to direct. Production is slated to begin January 2013 in Baton Rouge. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
The Toronto Film Festival only just got underway yesterday, but Dimension Films has already made a fairly major acquisition. Per Deadline, Bob Weinstein’s genre studio is nearing a deal to distribute two projects produced by Hostel director Eli Roth: Aftershock and Clown. Roth co-wrote and also stars in Aftershock, which is an earthquake thriller that’s set to screen at the festival.
Clown hasn’t yet begun production, but the film actually spawned from an incredibly creepy fan-made trailer that went viral and piqued Roth’s interest. The story centers on a loving father who dons a clown outfit and make-up to perform at his son’s sixth birthday, only to later discover the costume — red nose and wig included — will not come off. The distribution deals apparently guarantee a wide release for each film, so this is big news for Roth. Hit the jump to watch the trailer for Clown.
Dimension Films had the fifth installment in the Scary Movie franchise slated to open this month until someone realized that the film didn’t exist yet, so they pushed it back to January 2013. Now it appears Scary Movie 5 has a director and a production start-date. EW reports that Malcolm Lee (Roll Bounce, Undercover Brother) will handle directing duties on Scary Movie 5. David Zucker, who took over from the Wayans brothers and wrote and directed Scary Movie 3 and 4, will return to co-write and produce the fifth installment alongside Lee. Production is set to begin this summer and casting is already underway.
We previously reported that The Comebacks writers John Aboud and Michael Colton as well as Stephen Leff would be penning the screenplay, but it’s possible that Dimension has decided to start over entirely. The studio had been keen on bringing back some of the series’ original cast members, but there’s no word on where that plan stands now. The entire franchise has really been rendered moot by the brilliant The Cabin in the Woods, so it’ll be interesting to see if they stick with their exhausted regular formula or if they shake things up (they won’t). Scary Movie 5 is now slated to open on January 11th, 2013.
I know this is hard to believe, but it appears that Sin City 2 is really, actually, 100% happening. It was just announced that Robert Rodriguez’s Quick Draw Productions and Alexander Rodnyansky’s AR Films will partner with Dimension Films on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which is set to begin filming this summer. Rodriguez said as much back in March, but he’s been promising “movement” on a Sin City sequel for years now so everyone basically took the news with a grain of salt. As far as what’s in store for Sin City 2, creator/co-director/writer Frank Miller had this to say:
“The first Sin City knocked out audiences who had never seen anything like it before. Robert Rodriguez and I are going to shake things up and deliver a ferocious film experience that is going to go even further than the first.“
Hit the jump for more on the film, including story and casting details.
We’ve got a couple of acquisition stories to report today. First up, Dimension has picked up U.S. distribution rights to the thriller Penthouse North. Directed by Joseph Ruben (Sleeping with the Enemy), the film stars Michelle Monaghan as a photojournalist blinded in Iraq who becomes entangled in a sadistic criminal’s (Michael Keaton) search for a missing fortune. The script was written by David Loughery (Lakeview Terrace), who will also produced alongside Jeff Sackman and Michael Baker. Production begins in Ottawa on December 7th.
Additionally, Tribeca Film has acquired the U.S. rights to the French thriller Sleepless Night. The film debuted to a wildly positive reception as part of the “Midnight Madness” portion of the Toronto Film Festival. Matt caught the pic and loved it, and now Tribeca Film will release the film VOD and theatrically stateside in 2012. The story centers on an undercover cop trying to get his kidnapped son back from a drug-dealing nightclub owner. An English-language remake is already in the works at Warner Bros. You can watch the trailer for the French film here. Hit the jump to read the press releases concerning Penthouse North and Sleeplees Night.
Although Scream 4 served as a helpful reminder that we didn’t really need another Scream movie, apparently not everyone got the message. Because the film grossed $97 million worldwide off a $40 million budget (plus P&A), director Wes Craven believes Scream 5 could be on the way. The director tells Movieweb:
The odds are that there will be (a Scream 5). It is something that Bob Weinstein wants to do. He tends to do what he wants to do. So I am inclined to think that there will be (another sequel). Whether I will be a part of it or not? I don’t know. My contract gives me the first look. If they show me something that is really wonderful? Of course I will be a part of it.
Back in April 2010, we reported that Craven was already signed for Scream 5 and Scream 6, but it now appears that he simply had first-look deals rather than a firm commitment to helm a new trilogy. Hit the jump for more details.
Dimension Films is negotiating a deal with director Tim Hill (Hop) to take the reins of its Short Circuit remake. Back in 2009, the studio tapped Steve Carr (Paul Blart: Mall Cop) to direct a script from Dan Milano. Fast-forward two years and Deadline is reporting that Hill will take over the project and oversee a brand new script. For those too young to remember, the 1986 original was directed by John Badham (WarGames) and starred Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy. The pic told the story of an experimental military robot (known as Number 5/Johnny 5) that, after being electrocuted by lightning, develops intelligence, escapes from its government home, and strikes up a kinship with a family.
In addition to Hop and now the Short Circuit remake, Hill also directed 2007′s Alvin and the Chipmunks and has written for animated series’ such as Rocko’s Modern Life and SpongeBob SquarePants. For more on the original, or for just a little taste of nostalgia, hit the jump to watch a trailer for the original.
The long-awaited sequel to 2003’s fantastically black comedy Bad Santa is getting some serious movement. Star Billy Bob Thornton first told Steve about the project last year, and this past March the actor entered talks to return for a second go-around. Now comes the news that Dimension Films, which is producing the follow-up, has commissioned two writers to pen two different scripts for Bad Santa 2. The studio apparently plans to choose between the screenplays once they’re finished, and may even use the sidelined one for Bad Santa 3. Hit the jump for more.
Dimension has preemptively picked up the screen rights to Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson futuristic comedy guidebook How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution. Ed Ricourt will adapt the book and that the story will center on “a man trying to help humans dominate over clones after a biotech revolution.” I hope the move is just 100 minutes of a guy and his clone trying to convince the guy’s wife which one is the original and to shoot the other guy. Ricourt recently wrote Louis Leterrier’s magician heist flick Now You See Me starring Jesse Eisenberg.
Since humans are always fascinated by the idea of how the world will end, there are plenty of other apocalypse films in the pipeline. Two of the biggest –pocalypse films are Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse and last summer Tim Burton came on board to adapt the Japanese board game Monsterpocalypse. After this year, as long as it’s not aliens, I’m good. Hit the jump for a synopsis of How to Defeat Your Own Clone and the press release.
Dimension Films landed a surprise hit (if opening 6th at the box office qualifies as a hit) with Piranha 3D and now, as we reported in August, they’re going in for a sequel. The new film will be titled Piranha 3DD as a nod to the series’ love of large breasts. The guys being brought on to create this cinematic masterpiece are the folks behind the 2005 horror film, Feast: director John Gulager and screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (who also wrote the last four Saw movies). Deadline reports that Dimension is aiming to get Piranha 3DD into theaters by August 2011. Personally, I’m not shocked that they’re trying to turn it around that fast. I’m shocked that they’re writing a script.
No word if they’ll shoot in 3D or post-convert it like they did with Piranha 3D. Either way, I hope we get another fun argument between James Cameron and producer Mark Canton.
Even though it landed 6th at the box office this weekend, Dimension is moving forward with a sequel to Piranha 3D. In the press release we received, producer Mark Canton said, “We are thrilled that audiences are not just loving PIRANHA 3D, but cheering for it. And it’s fantastic that so many critics are really getting the movie and recommending it. We can’t wait to get to work on the sequel.” I’ve personally only heard raves about the movie and that it’s gory beyond all reason. And since Piranha 3D hardly cost any money, it’s not too much of a surprise that they’re moving forward with a sequel.
Hit the jump to check out the full press release.
Dimension Films chairman, Bob Weinstein, has now updated us on all of the projects that are currently being set up right now over at the studio. What makes this update interesting, and also kind of sad, is that they are all either a sequel or a remake. We now have updates on “Scream 4″, “Spy Kids 4″, “Halloween 3″, and a couple of other projects which include some remakes. To read up on these updates and to find out which one of your favorite films is being remade next, just click on the jump.