Paranormal Activity 2 is on!
Here's some interesting news coming from THR...the Paranormal Activity sequel is rolling...but is it too soon?
Something’s moving in the “Paranormal Activity 2” house.
Paramount has hired screenwriter Michael R. Perry and director Kevin Greutert to create the sequel to 2009’s biggest surprise hit, “Paranormal Activity,” which scared up $151 million in worldwide grosses in the fall on a shoestring $15,000 budget and a shrewd, opt-in Web marketing campaign.
Significantly, Paramount will unleash it in theaters on the pre-Halloween weekend of October 22, which sets it against that date’s reigning champion in previous years, the next installment in Lionsgate’s “Saw” series (this year would be “VII”). In a symbolic twist, Greutert made his directorial debut on the sixth “Saw” film, which grossed just $31 million worldwide, with observers thinking that the franchise may be bleeding dry.
Jason Blum and Oren Peli, who masterminded the first “Activity,” are producing the second iteration. Steven Schneider will serve as executive producer.
“These guys get it, and the fans won’t be disappointed,” said Peli of Perry and Greutert’s participation.
Unsurprisingly, the filmmakers are keeping the story line — as well as the film’s actual title — hidden in the attic.
Last month, as “Activity” was spooking the boxoffice, Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman launched an initiative to spend $1 million a year to make 10-20 similarly micro-budgeted films each costing less than $100,000. The studio is also releasing Peli’s follow-up, “Area 51,” now in post-production.
“Activity’s” closest analog is “The Blair Witch Project,” another no-budget creeper that eventually grossed an astounding $240 million worldwide in 1999. That film, as well, engaged a verite conceit and a minimal, unknown cast to spooky effect.
Production company Artisan Entertainment tried to capture lightning a second time by quickly producing a sequel with a bigger, if still low, budget. But “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2,” released the following Halloween, grossed a mere $26 million.
Perry, who is repped by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment, is a longtime TV writer-producer (“Millennium,” “The Guardian”) whose spec feature script, “The Voices,” landed in the third slot on the 2009 Black List. “Voices” is now set up with Doug Davison and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment (“Quarantine,” “The Uninvited”).
The Paradigm-repped Greutert was the editor of the first five films in the half-billion-dollar-grossing “Saw” series and went on to direct last year’s sixth installment.