EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli. Peli leaves CAA, shaking loose from that agency after longtime agents Martin Spencer and Adam Kanter moved to Jeff Berg’s Resolution. Peli is a big piece of business, at the forefront of the micro-budget found-footage horror craze. He produced and oversaw the sequels of Paranormal Activity, produced and scripted Chernobyl Diaries, and produced Insidious and the Rob Zombie-directed Lords Of Salem. Peli most recently wrote and directed Area 51. Peli also co-created The River for ABC last year. He continues to be lawyered by Linda Lichter.
Steven Spielberg/Oren Peli thriller series collaboration The River makes its U.S. debut on February 7 on ABC. In a first for producer ABC Studios, the shows will then be available via iTunes in the U.K. 24 hours later. There is currently no U.K. broadcaster deal for The River, although an announcement is expected soon. Meanwhile, U.K. iTunes customers can watch the series on a one-day delay during its entire run. Experiments like this are partly a means to deter piracy and are proving more frequent (they’re also welcome for frustrated fans in Europe). In 2010, for example, ITV made Vampire Diaries available on iTunes in the U.K. before it started airing the popular show. In France, leading broadcaster TF1 makes episodes of shows like House available via its own VOD service on a 24-hour delay from the U.S. TF1 also airs the series on TV at a one-season delay and the show remains a ratings powerhouse. In the U.S., Fox last
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.
EXCLUSIVE: Rob Zombie has committed to make The Lords of Salem his next directorial outing. The film has been put together by Haunted Films, the company run by the Paranormal Activity team of Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and Oren Peli. The pic is a co-production between Haunted Films and Alliance Films, marking their third film together. The first, the James Wan-directed haunted house thriller Insidious, was acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide right after its midnight premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last week. Barry Levinson is currently shooting the second, The Bay, in South Carolina. Octane, the genre arm of IM Global, will handle
You thought a suburban home was scary. How about the Amazon river? Oren Peli, the writer-director of the indie phenomenon Paranormal Activity, is bringing to primetime The River, a cinema verite-style thriller drama in the vein of Paranormal Activity set on a mysterious river. After a heated bidding between ABC and NBC, the project is close to landing at ABC with a rich put pilot commitment. The TV division of DreamWorks, the studio that discovered Israeli-born video game designer Peli and his $15,000 supernatural thriller Paranormal Activity that ended up grossing almost $200 million worldwide, is producing with ABC Studios. Peli hatched the idea for the project with veteran TV writer Michael R. Perry (Law & Order: SVU) who penned the upcoming Paranormal Activity sequel. Perry is writing the pilot script, with Peli possibly directing. Peli also is executive producing with his producing partners Jason Blum and Steven Schneider as well as Perry and DreamWorks TV’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. According to one description of the project floating around, The River follows the story of a famed adventuter/tv personality who goes missing and is presumed dead deep in the Amazon. His friends and crew go to look for him on their state-of-the-art research vessel.