Radius-TWC has acquired worldwide rights to indie horror-thriller Creep, from Blumhouse Productions and the Duplass brothers. The microbudget two-hander stars Patrick Brice as a videographer who answers an online ad to film a stranger (Mark Duplass) in a remote mountain town for a personal project that turns sinister. Brice co-wrote the pic with Duplass and makes his directorial debut with Creep, which will be released later this year. It marks the first collaboration between Duplass and Jason Blum, who produced the film together and have pacted with Radius-TWC to turn the first film into a full trilogy. The second and third films already are in the works. “I’m a huge fan of the renegade tactics of Blumhouse and Radius, and I couldn’t be more psyched to partner with them on this utterly insane new franchise,” said Duplass. Following Creep‘s SXSW premiere, the duo spoke with Deadline about their surprise creative alliance (read it here). Radius-TWC is also releasing Duplass’s Sundance film The One I Love in August. The company’s co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego negotiated what I hear was a seven-figure deal with Submarine’s Josh Braun.
Q&A: Jason Blum & Mark Duplass Team On Horror Pic ‘Creep’ As Blumhouse Hit Machine, Indie Model Converge
Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum and filmmaker Mark Duplass aren’t the likeliest pair to join forces, but the microbudget horror maven and the indie veteran found common ground when they linked up just over a year ago on a found-footage pic Duplass was hammering out with director pal Patrick Brice. Creep follows the unfolding tale of a videographer (Brice) who answers a Craigslist ad to shoot video of a stranger (Duplass). The two filmed the pic on the fly shaping the story as they went. When Creep began looking like a horror pic, Duplass rang Blum, who then came aboard as producer. The film premiered last week at SXSW.
Blum, who made his fortune and his name on 2009′s game-changer Paranormal Activity, has seen his reputation as a hitmaker climb as audiences keep buying tickets for his insta-franchises including Insidious, Sinister, and The Purge. In a SXSW keynote speech, he lined out the secret to Blumhouse’s success: low budgets of $1M-$3M, directors with something to prove (and, often, bad studio experiences under their belts), no CG, no rebate-state shoots outside of L.A., and scale pay for cast and crew with a cut of the profits if the movie is a hit.
However Creep‘s future shakes out, Duplass is ready to embrace alternative channels of distribution. The actor-writer-director-producer got his start with his and brother Jay Duplass’ indie drama The Puffy Chair, one of Netflix’s early streaming success stories. He’s now produced and distributed nine more features using his own Blum-like formula developed over the past decade working in indie film. Creep is the first of their two features together, with Universal and Blumhouse’s Stephen King adaptation Mercy also on the way. Blum and Duplass explained their simpatico methods during SXSW: