Steven Quale has been hired to to direct New Line Cinema’s Category Six. The found-footage natural disaster movie, about high schoolers documenting a massive hurricane, was picked up as a spec from writer John Swetnam back in October. Quale, a visual effects protege of James Cameron who was a second unit director on Avatar, recently made his directorial debut with Final Destination 5, the New Line 3D pic that received some of the better critical notices of the franchise and has grossed $158 million worldwide since its August release. The studio’s Walter Hamada and Dave Neustater, the execs behind that film, also bought Category Six, and they moved fast to lock in Quale. Broken Road’s Todd Garner and Jeremy Stein are producing. Quale is repped by Gersh and Principato-Young.
EXCLUSIVE: Ending what turned out to be a brisk week for material, New Line Cinema just closed a spec deal in the $300,000 range for Category Six, a script by John Swetnam for a “found footage” natural disaster movie. The film takes a first-person POV through video cameras and cell phones to tell the story of high school students who try to survive the worst tornado in U.S. history. The film will be produced by Todd Garner through his Broken Road banner. Garner hatched the idea. David Boxerbaum at APA and Jake Wagner made the deal. Broken Road’s Jeremy Stein and Sean Robins will also be involved in producing capacities.
The material market has been sluggish until recently, but this is the latest in a flurry of specs and pitches that sold this week. In fact, Category Six is the second one today that deals with extreme weather: Fox just acquired Riders On The Storm, a pitch that will be penned by Sean O’Keefe about a crew that pulls a series of heists in an extreme weather event. The scribe most recently sold his script Evidence to Bold Films.