A sequel to the horror hit Insidious is in the works, with Leigh Whannell returning to write the script and James Wan in talks to once again direct. Jason Blum will produce through Blumhouse Productions and Brian Kavanaugh Jones, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider will be exec producers. Alliance Films is back as financier, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Peter Schlessel’s FilmDistrict acquired U.S. rights. FilmDistrict will distribute the film in the U.S.
The sequel news is hardly a shock, it is simply what happens when a $1.5 million budget horror film scares up nearly $100 million in worldwide grosses to become one of the most profitable films in recent memory. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne starred in the first installment, as parents of a demonically possessed kid. SPWA bought it at 2010 Toronto and FilmDistrict released it. Alliance will distribute the sequel in Canada, the UK (via its Momentum Pictures subsidiary) and Spain (via Aurum). SPWA has the rest of the world. Production begins this year and will be released in 2013. Wan and Whannel hatched the Saw franchise.
“Insidious was the most fun project I’ve ever worked on,” Whannell said in a statement. “From start to finish it was an absolute joy—from the writing of the screenplay, all the way to the first screening of the film at the Toronto film festival. I believe that James Wan and I achieved what we set out to do—create a horror film for horror fans…Both of us feel that we can mine more terror from the world we created and know that if we assemble every member of the original team, we will have an amazing continuation of the story for fans of the first film.” Wan and Whannell are repped by Paradigm and attorney David Fox.
EXCLUSIVE: Evolution Entertainment partners Mark Burg and Oren Koules are splitting after 12 years. Burg has purchased the 50% of the management/production company owned by Koules. Burg has reconstituted the company and named former CAA agent-turned-producer Michael Menchel its new president.
This brings to an end a partnership that achieved the dream of every boutique management/production company. When these guys got through Evolution’s Gregg Hoffman the script for Saw from Leigh Whannell and James Wan, they put themselves at risk personally to come up with the money to buy it and to cover the $1.2 million budget themselves. They made a licensing deal with Lionsgate but were left owning a film that grossed $103 million worldwide. They continued in that fashion on six sequels, most of which were low budget, with the last costing around $20 million. The cumulative worldwide gross of the series reached $870 million, and Burg and Koules made a fortune. Some of it they parlayed into other fright films under their Twisted Pictures banner, with many of the films directed and populated by clients of the management company. Their client stable includes Charlie Sheen. Read More »
FilmDistrict finalized a distribution deal for Insidious, the horror film by original Saw writer/director James Wan and Leigh Whannell, and produced by Paranormal Activity architects Oren Peli, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. The deal was long-rumored. FilmDistrict was started by … Read More »
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 … Read More »