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Universal Acquires ‘Found Footage’ Thriller Spec By ‘Strangers’ Helmer Bryan Bertino

By | Monday November 21, 2011 @ 2:56pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal has completed a pre-holiday acquisition of a spec script written by The Strangers writer/director Bryan Bertino. The project was acquired to be produced by Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, and Marc Platt and Adam Siegel of Marc Platt Productions. Bertino and his Unbroken Pictures partner Adrienne Biddle will also be producers. Blum and Platt have term deals at the studio. Blum is producer of the Paranormal Activity films.

I heard about the spec when it was circulated under the title Mockingbird, but at present it is untitled. Like Paranormal Activity, the Bertino spec is based on “found footage.” Bertino is not aboard to direct the film. Blumhouse just wrapped the Rob Zombie-directed Lords of Salem, as well as the Ethan Hawke-starrer Sinister for Summit Entertainment and is producing the ABC series The River. UTA made the deal for Bertino.

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Universal Wins ‘Grim Night’ Spec

By | Tuesday October 25, 2011 @ 7:16pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures just won an auction for Grim Night, a thriller about about a night that happens once a year globally, where people lock themselves at home and fend off the senseless and random attacks by Grims. Deal was in the high six figure against  seven-figure range. Unbroken Films partners Bryan Bertino & Adrienne Biddle are partnering with Marc Platt to produce. Bertino directed The Strangers. The script was written by Brandon Bestenheider & Allen Bey, who made their first sale. The duo helped move things along by making a teaser trailer for the spec that was leaked by their Verve reps before the auction began. About six other outlets were interested but Universal moved fastest. Here’s the teaser trailer:

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