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Berlin: ‘Saw’ Guy James Wan Scares Up 8-Picture Deal

Mike Fleming

February 11, 2011 (Berlin, Germany) – Writer/Producer/Director James Wan has closed an eight (8) picture deal with the Icon Entertainment International (IEI), it was announced today by Wan and Hugo Grumbar, Managing Director (International) for Icon, at the Berlin Film Festival.

Wan who is best known for creating and directing the first in the “Saw” franchise of films which have gone on to gross over $850,000,000 worldwide, will produce two (2) horror films a year under the agreement with Icon. Wan recently sold the film INSIDIOUS to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group at the Toronto Film Festival.

The first picture to be put through the slate is HOUSE OF HORROR, which is based on a story written by James Wan. Max La Bella wrote the screenplay. Javier Gutierrez (Before the Fall, A.K.A Tres Dias) is attached to direct with James Wan and Lee Clay producing.

“I wanted to have the creative freedom and the ability to work with really artistic film makers who can help me bring an original and innovative style of genre films to the public. Paradigm paved the way for this and we have chosen to partner with Icon who are a perfect fit for us,” Wan said.

Icon will handle worldwide sales for the titles and distribute in the UK through theatrical arm Icon Film Distribution. Paradigm and attorney David Fox rep Wan and Paradigm’s Motion Picture Finance Group will package and rep North American rights.

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Buys ‘Insidious’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE FROM TORONTO: The Toronto deal logjam seems to be breaking. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group is closing a deal for North American distribution rights to Insidious, the James Wan-directed thriller that premiered in the Midnight Madness program  Tuesday. Leigh Whannell wrote the script. I’m told it is a 7-figure deal that is still being finalized after a marathon bargaining session following the screening. The film is a modern take on the haunted house chiller genre. It’s guaranteed a theatrical release, with a level to be determined. Wan and Whannell created the Saw franchise, with Wan directing and Whannell scripting the first pic in that series. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play a married couple with three kids. When tragedy strikes the youngest, begin to experience things science can’t explain. Barbara Hershey and Lin Shaye also star. Pic’s produced by Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli Stuart Ford’s IM Global has foreign on the picture and has sold out the world. CAA and Paradigm repped it.

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