Producing horror movies on micro-budgets has proven good business for Blumhouse Productions, the company behind the Paranormal Activity franchise. Last fall they debuted the slick mystery horror story Sinister. The $3 million dollar movie from Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill not only won rave reviews from critics, but also earned a whopping $77 million worldwide. So, it’s no surprise that Blumhouse is looking to build a new franchise from this solid base.
Deadline reports Derrickson and Cargill, who wrote the first film together, are back on board for the sequel as writers. Derrickson will also produce, and is in talks to return to the directors chair. As to cast that might return (spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Sinister), it wouldn’t make sense for Ethan Hawke to return, though it seems likely we’d see little Clare Foley again in some capacity. No details are being dropped on where the sequel might lead, but based on the first film, it’s pretty easy to guess.
Again, spoilers ahead, but really, if you haven’t seen Sinister, I don’t know why you’d be reading this.
Anyhow, in Sinister, Hawke starred as Ellison Oswalt, a formerly famous true crime novelist in desperate need of another hit book. So, he moves his family to another town with a savage and unsolved murder mystery. Moreover, he moves them into the house of the victims. Trying to uncover what happened to the family who was mercilessly murdered where his now lives, Oswalt uncovers a ghostly serial killer who torments families into fleeing to a new home…then invades once more to kill them. It creates a ghastly pattern that was completed in the film’s final act, leaving the Oswalt home vacant, and ready for its next unwitting victims.
Looking back, it’s obvious Derrickson and Cargill left themselves a door to a possible franchise. Of course more of the same won’t be good enough for horror fans the second go ’round. But I’m not worried. The first film showed both of these writers to have a deep respect for the horror genre as well as an intriguing and sick imagination. So, I’m confident that with this sequel they’ll take the opportunity to dig deeper, and show us something freshly terrifying.
As if those weren’t enough, Deadline reports Gaiman’s upcoming novelThe Ocean at the End of the Lane has already found a home with Focus Features and Playtone, the production company owned by Tom Hanks and producer Gary Goetzman. Carrying on the Gaiman adaptation trend of acquiring great directors, Joe Wright, responsible for drama such as Anna Karenina and Atonement, is attached to direct.
Considering the recent success Goetzman and Hanks have had lately, with the award-winning political miniseries Game Change and the award-winning post-apocalyptic web series The Electric City, Gaiman’s involvement will only solidify Playtone’s ability to balance reality-based fiction with imaginative fantasy.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, like most Gaiman works, is a multi-layered tale full of darkness and redemption. I can’t say it any better than the publisher can, so here’s their description:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a novel about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.
It began for our narrator forty years ago when he was seven: the lodger stole the family’s car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed — within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duck pond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac — as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.
The book was already highly anticipated, but this just ratcheted things up a few levels.The Ocean at the End of the Lane hits bookstores on June 18, 2013.
The great Gary Oldman has joined the cast of Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.Oldman will play a character named Dreyfus, who is the leader of the human resistance after the apes take over control of power from people.
The actor has of course starred in a list of great movies playing a bunch of great characters, last being seen in The Dark Knight Rises and Lawless and with the RoboCop remake up next. He joins a cast that already includes Kodi-Smit McPhee (The Road, Paranorman), William Clarke, and of course, Andy Serkis.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), and is currently slated for release on May 23, 2014.