EXCLUSIVE: Franklin Leonard’s Black List has become a buzzy barometer for promising screenplays, but here’s a genre-centric version of the script service suited for the spooky season. The Blood List names the 13 best unproduced horror, thriller, and sci-fi scripts of the October-to-October calendar year as voted on by more than 100 film execs. This year’s #1 pick: Ink and Bone, Zak Olkewicz’s horror spec about a writer held hostage by his own creations that Dimension snapped up earlier this year. Independent manager/producer Kailey Marsh runs the annual Blood List, which has no affiliation with the more mainstream-leaning Black List but in its fifth year is turning out more and more high-profile alums. 2012 Blood List topper The Disciple Program landed at Universal with Mark Wahlberg attached to star for Morten Tyldum, while Barbara Curry’s 2011 selection The Boy Next Door is in production under the Blumhouse banner with Jennifer Lopez starring.
The 2013 edition was voted on by 108 feature execs, each of whom chose their top three favorite genre screenplays. Seventy-seven of them earned votes, with screenplays requiring a minimum of four votes in order to make the final cut. The 2013 class is announced, as it has been for four years, on Halloween: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Jackson, who reportedly earned $275 million posthumously over the past year for his estate, isn’t slowing down anytime soon. I’m told that GK Films is in active negotiations to acquire a package for a film that is being fashioned around his groundbreaking hit song Thriller. The film, which has been quietly shopped over the past several weeks by Real Effects Entertainment, has Kenny Ortega attached to direct, and The Hangover scribe Jeremy Garelick to write the screenplay. While GK is in the driver’s seat, I’m told that Fox 2000, Mandate/Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment are all in the mix on what will shape up as a pricey rights deal, but which will turn out to be a film budgeted at under $50 million. Plot is being kept under wraps but I understand it has to do with the song’s folklore, involving Vincent Price and the town he grew up in. All of this deal making is subject to a deal being completed with Jackson’s estate, but that has been in the works for some time and is expected to be sealed. Thriller songwriter Rod Temperton is also in the mix. On top of the Thriller deal, I’ve heard that Cirque du Soleil is in talks to do two live shows based on Jackson’s music, and that Montecito partners Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock are looking to do a feature about Jackson’s younger years. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles actress will lead the cast in a new Brit shocker being planned for next year. Michael Ironside (Terminator Salvation) is also attached. Offers are out to Kate Mara (Iron-Man 2) and Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica).
Safe House, which is due to begin filming next March, follows a team of US Marshals charged with protecting a mob-trial witness and her teenage daughter, Alice. Mother and daughter are relocated to an isolated compound high in the Californian Rockies. The location appears secure — outfitted specifically for witness protection — yet its past is steeped in mystery and violence…
Producer Steve Iles of Spirit Pictures pitches it as “Assault On Precinct 13 meets The Thing.” The director is Simon Hunter, whose last movie was Mutant Chronicles. “Safe House is totally different from Chronicles, which was a big canvas,” Hunter tells me. “This is a world that I’m going to portray in an extremely realistic way.”
Andy Briggs, who wrote Aquaman for Warner Bros and has worked with Stan Lee and Robert Evans, has written the screenplay and is also producing.
The filmmakers are certainly building this one from the ground up to be a fanboy’s wet dream. Image Engine, the Canadian VFX shop which created the aliens in District 9, is in talks to do the monster design. Simon Bowles, who regularly works with Neil Marshall (The Descent), will be production designer. Prosthetics will be built by SFX veteran Shaune Harrison … Read More »