Update 1:15 p.m.: Variety adds that Michael Kennedy co-wrote the script with director Christopher Landon, and that Kathryn Newton’s character will have less than 24 hours to remedy the body-swap situation before the change becomes permanent. Collider’s earlier exclusive is below.
Vince Vaughn and Big Little Lies breakout Kathryn Newton are in talks star in an untitled Blumhouse movie from Happy Death Day director Christopher Landon that sources describe as a body-swapping horror film in the vein of Freaky Friday, Collider has exclusively learned.
Discussing Film first reported on the top-secret project earlier this month, saying that “it will focus on a killer who wreaks havoc in a small town.” I imagine that Vaughn will be the killer and Newton will be his target, and somehow, they end up swapping bodies. Regardless of the specifics, it’s clear that Landon and Blumhouse are embarking on another high-concept genre movie that puts a fresh twist on a familiar concept, just as Happy Death Day riffed on the comedy classic Groundhog Day.
Jason Blum will produce the movie, which is expected to begin filming in October. I wouldn’t be surprised if Landon was also involved in a producing capacity, though that remains unclear, as Blumhouse did not respond to a request for comment.
Newton is coming off of the Detective Pikachu movie as well as two seasons of HBO’s Big Little Lies, in which she played the daughter of Reese Witherspoon and Adam Scott. Over the last two years, she has appeared in the Best Picture nominees Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Lady Bird, as well as Ben Is Back and the hit comedy Blockers. She’s also the lead in the popular Netflix series The Society.
Vaughn recently starred in the gritty indie Dragged Across Concrete as well as the underdog wrestling movie Fighting With My Family, and he was very good in both. He’ll soon be seen alongside Kristen Stewart in Amazon’s feature drama Seberg, and as the heavy opposite Liam Hemsworth in the indie thriller Arkansas.
Landon has a long history with Blumhouse, as he wrote the second, third and fourth Paranormal Activity movies before going on to write and direct Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, so he’s one of the chief architects of that lucrative franchise. He also wrote the 2007 Shia LaBeouf hit Disturbia and the Emma Roberts–Dave Franco social media thriller Viral before directing the first Happy Death Day and its sequel, which he also wrote. Prior to those films, he directed the indie Burning Palms and Paramount’s Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
WME represents Vaughn, Newton and Landon, while Management 360 and Mosaic manage Newton and Landon, respectively. A representative for Newton did not respond to a request for comment.