Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2 screenwriter Leigh Whannell will return to pen a third installment of the hit horror franchise for Blumhouse Productions, Entertainment One, FilmDistrict, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. Conspicuously absent from today’s threequel announcement is Whannell’s longtime collaborator James Wan, who helmed both Insidious pics including last weekend’s record-breaking $41M opener sequel. Wan just began filming on Universal’s Fast & Furious 7, graduating to the big budgeted blockbuster after directing genre fare including the original Saw, Death Sentence, the microbudgeted Insidious franchise, and this year’s #1 horror opener The Conjuring. Jason Blum will produce the third Insidious pic for Blumhouse Productions with Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity). Steven Schneider, Brian Kavanaugh Jones, Peter Schlessel, Lia Buman and Xavier Marchand are executive producing. Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, and Barbara Hershey reprised their roles in Insidious: Chapter 2 which continued the saga of the haunted Lambert family and left the door open for further supernatural sequels. Whannell is repped by Paradigm.
EXCLUSIVE: Jason Blum will bring the studio into the low-budget but often high-gross world of genre films. Universal Pictures has made a 3-year first-look deal with Blum and his Blumhouse Productions which produced the Paranormal Activity franchise, and followed that up with Insidious, the James Wan-directed thriller that has already become one of the most profitable films of 2011. A sequel seems inevitable.
The original Paranormal Activity cost about $15,000 and grossed $193 million. The first sequel cost $3 million and grossed $177 million worldwide and the third film debuts Oct. 21. Insidious cost $1.5 million and grossed $81 million worldwide and is still rolling out. This guy is minting money. He’s producing the latest installment of the fright franchise Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes for Dimension Films, produced the Barry Levinson-directed eco-horror film The Bay, The River for ABC and the Jay Chandresakar-directed comedy Baby Makers. He is producing the Oren Peli-directed Area 51 for Paramount Pictures, as well as The Lords of Salem, with Rob Zombie directing. Blum’s also an exec producer on the John Hillcoat-directed The Wettest County in the World. This amounts to an aggressive move into the low-budget area for Universal, which, if anything, is known for spending generously on its slates.
Upstart distributor FilmDistrict has issued a new trailer for Insidious, the horror film by original Saw writer-director team of James Wan and Leigh Whannell, produced by Paranormal Activity’s Oren Peli, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. The film, which looks like a good old fashioned haunted house movie, opens April 1.