Hot off the success of The Nun, genre maestro James Wan has signed on to produce a feature adaptation of Santiago Menghini‘s horror short Milk for New Line, which has acquired rights to the short film, Collider has exclusively learned.
Menghini will direct from a script by Super Dark Times scribes Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, with the director expected to retain story credit. Wan will produce alongside his Atomic Monster partner Michael Clear and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment, as well as Good Fear. Judson Scott will oversee the project on behalf of Atomic Monster.
Milk has been well-received by genre fans at numerous film festivals including SXSW, where it was awarded the Midnight Shorts Jury Award earlier this year. The story follows a sheltered young teen with an overbearing mother who begins to suspect his reality is not as it seems.
Horror shorts have been gaining traction around town this summer, during which time Legendary and The Picture Company acquired rights to Julian Terry‘s They Hear It, which concerns a terrifying noise called The Sound that attracts children. The Picture Company is also producing Larry, which started out as a high-concept horror short that was acquired by Amblin Partners and will now star Gillian Jacobs.
Wan is no stranger to the process of expanding short films into features, as his directorial debut Saw started out as a short. He also produced Lights Out, which was based on a short film and now has a sequel in development. Wan’s most recent production, The Nun, has grossed $231 million worldwide in less than two weeks. The fright filmmaker is also behind the Conjuring and Insidious franchises, and he has The Curse of La Llorona, starring Linda Cardellini, due in theaters next year. Wan is also developing remakes of Arachnophobia and The Tommyknockers as well as a Swamp Thing TV series. Wan’s next directorial effort, Aquaman, will dive into theaters this December amid a tidal wave of expectations. Wan is represented by Paradigm, Stacey Testro International and attorney David Fox.
Collins and Piotrowski wrote the acclaimed indie Super Dark Times as well as Akiva Goldsman‘s Blumhouse production Stephanie starring Frank Grillo and Anna Torv. They also wrote an untitled horror script for David Goyer and adapted the Paul Tremblay novel A Head Full of Ghosts for director Oz Perkins and Focus Features. They’re represented by UTA, Grandview and Hirsch Wallerstein.
Menghini, who in addition to being an up-and-coming filmmaker is also an accomplished VFX specialist, is repped by UTA and Good Fear Film + Management.