EXCLUSIVE: It’s been nearly a decade since Nick Palumbo earned notoriety and polarizing reviews for his ultraviolent Murder-Set-Pieces, a slasher pic about a femme-targeting serial murderer. At the time it was the first NC-17 film to hit theaters in decades and was even banned in the UK due to its depiction of sexual violence. Nine years later he’s reemerging with his follow-up, centered this time on a female killer. Psychological horror Muse introduces newcomer Samantha Mion as an actress descending into homicidal madness in Los Angeles. Patrick Scott Lewis (Zodiac) co-stars as a fellow actor. Palumbo wrote and will direct the pic, producing with David Palumbo and James Cullen Bressack (Hate Crime) for the trio’s Fright Flix banner.

This time around Palumbo’s not anticipating the kind of ratings issues that struck Murder-Set-Pieces. That pic made it to select theaters in NC-17 form but Lionsgate snipped it down to an R for home video. Universal, The Weinstein Co., Paramount, and 20th Century Fox released an unedited version in Europe and Asia but it was banned in the UK due to its depiction of sexual violence. Palumbo’s not anticipating similar problems with Muse, which will likely be cut to an R. He’s also set to direct the indie neo-noir thriller Last Gas Station later this year from his own script. Filming on Muse begins April 15 shooting on RED.

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