Jason Blum

Sharp Objects

By the time 2014 closes out, fans of Gillian Flynn‘s uniquely thrilling (and, typically, totally dark) novels will be doubly treated to a pair of new films based on her works. For an author who has so far only penned three books, that’s pretty handy work, but for awhile there, Flynn was going to be three for three in the feature adaptation department. Last summer, all of Flynn’s novels were in various states of cinematic production, with David Fincher‘s Gone Girl enjoying the bulk of the hype (it’s certainly the most star-studded production of the trio), Gilles Paquet-Brenner‘s Dark Places secure in a very respectable second place position and Sharp Objects just sort of hanging out in vague pre-production land. Gone Girl will now hit theaters on October 3 (though the possibility that it will bow at TIFF in September seems like a safe enough bet), just a month after Dark Places releases (with a September 1 release date, it sure would be nice to see a trailer or something soon, cough cough), but what about that Sharp Objects movie? Turns out, there’s not going to be one — because it’s going to be a Sharp Objects television show. This is fantastic news.

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Lionsgate

Half of the top ten grossing supernatural horror films ever were released in July and August, so it’s no surprise that Hollywood in general and a certain genre producer in particular would return to that release date again this year. Last year’s The Conjuring was a late summer hit, and now uber-genre producer Jason Blum is hoping to get a piece of that action with the suggestively-titled Jessabelle. I say “suggestive” because the name Jessabelle is awfully close to Jezebel, a name and term that’s come to mean a scheming, wicked woman. Is that intentional? It’s hard to say from this first trailer which sees a young woman (Sarah Snook) returning to her childhood home after her mom’s death. It’s just the latest tragedy for Jessabelle as she recently lost both her boyfriend and the use of her legs in a car accident. She finds a a videotape from her mom, and soon the creepy shenanigans begin. Check out the trailer for Jessabelle below.

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Ninja 2

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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blum

Jason Blum must be feeling pretty good about himself right now. This year he has been behind two major box-office hits with The Purge and Insidious: Chapter II (and a minor one with Dark Skies). All three films were made for nickels compared to their grosses. In a time where people are worried about the future prospects of summer blockbusters, Blum has been producing blockbuster results without a 200 million price tag attached. To make Insidious: Chapter II a hit, Blum brought back the original creative team and characters along to expand on the mythology created by the first movie. Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) returns as a man dealing with some side effects from the first film, while director James Wan is back for more as well. Blum believes Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell are key ingredients to the series, and the results speak for themselves. In addition to discussing their involvement in the film, we spoke with Jason Blum about his lucrative business model and how to properly make a sequel:

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lopez

Jennifer Lopez has accomplished a lot of things over the course of her career as an entertainer. She’s been a dancer, an actress, a recording artist, and even a reality TV personality. But a new report out of Variety is saying that she’s just taken a new job that’s now going to see her attempting to do the impossible: she’s going to have to try to seduce a hormone-filled teenage boy using little more than her world-renowned sex appeal and shapely figure. Truly, this is going to be her most challenging endeavor to date. The seduction is all set to take place in a low-budget thriller called The Boy Next Door, which is being put together by successful horror producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge), and which reportedly has Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, Alex Cross) in negotiations to direct.

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blum

Blumhouse productions has been making quite a go at the box-office over the past few years. “Quite a go” may actually be an understatement, considering they’re pulling in big numbers for very non-tentpole releases. After the success of Paranormal Activity, producer Jason Blum has been making a lot of bang for his buck. With Insidious and the Activity franchise, Blum has cornered the market on low budget horror movies aimed at a broad audience. His newest project, The Purge, is hoping to follow in those films’s footsteps. The high-concept siege movie was made for a mere three million dollars, which isn’t even close to the budget of the fellow wide releases we’re seeing this summer. Even if the movie doesn’t strike gold, expect a profit and more movies like it from Blumhouse. Not a bad model by any standard. Here’s what The Purge producer Jason Blum had to say about that business plan and finding creativity within it.

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Insidious

Despite producer Jason Blum’s initial comments that he wouldn’t get behind a sequel to 2010’s possession horror, Insidious, unless he was presented with a story that really made sense, it always seemed like a sequel was going to be inevitable anyway. Not only is Insidious one of the mostly widely well-reviewed horror movies of the last decade, but it also managed to make a whole bunch of money without having a very big budget. That’s too good of a formula for the Hollywood money-making machine to abandon. So, sure enough, last February we got word that director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell were both coming back, and Insidious 2 was officially in the works. The press release issued for the film today [via ComingSoon] brings a couple of more surprises with it as well, though. Despite the fact that the original Insidious ended with a situation that looked pretty grim for the family that it featured, and you might have imagined that a sequel would introduce us to a whole new cast of characters battling a similar evil spirit, the money men behind this sequel say that Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins will all be back for this new film, reprising their roles from the original. Is it likely that Wan and Whannell have come up with a great story that will bring these characters back for more hauntings and manage to make sense in the process, or can we take the returns of the […]

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13 Game of Death

For the unlucky who haven’t see it, 13: Game of Death is an incredibly clever Thai movie that features a down-on-his-luck-in-every-aspect-of-his-life guy who agrees to participate in a reality game show using his cell phone. All he has to do is kill a fly. Then perform another task. And another. Thirteen in all, with each becoming more bizarre and threatening than the last. It’s a fantastic exploration of what we’ll do to get money (and the spotlight), and now an English-language remake is moving forward with director Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcist, A Necessary Death). “What we’re doing with it . . . I’m just so damned proud of this script,” said Stamm who co-wrote the new take with David Birke (who also helped rewrite Last Exorcism and is writing the English-language version of Livid). “[We’re working with] really smart people that are actually excited to take risks, which, if you take on – you know 13 – that’s not a very American audience-friendly movie inherently. It’s very Asian. It’s very dark. It doesn’t really care to make the protagonist a very nice guy to begin with…you have to tweak certain things but to keep the soul alive.”

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Back in August of last year, Universal Pictures chucked their big-budget Ouija back into turnaround – usually the kiss of death for a project like this, one meant to cost over $100m and to tap into the hallowed “four-quadrant” ground (meant to appeal to both sexes and all ages). That first pitch likened the film to something like Jumanji, which could certainly be appealing, but Universal was shy to give it the go-ahead. Even the attachment of producer Michael Bay and director McG didn’t keep them interested, and for all intents and purposes, the project being put into turnaround could have been the last we ever heard of it. But it’s not. Deadline Chesterton now reports that Ouija has slid from a big “NO” to a much smaller “YES,” with Universal back on board to make it for a 2013 release, but with a significantly tighter budget than its previous incarnation. The new film will come with a tiny little $5m pricetag, one that signals that this will be no longer be a four-quadrant blockbuster, but something closer to a genre pic. Another indication that’s so? While original producers Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form are back in, they are also joined by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions, who has produced films like Paranormal Activity and Insidious – films with small budgets that made big box office cash. THR also reports that Blum is responsible for the film’s new direction – a “high concept, lower budget model.”

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The rules vocalized by Notorious BIG regarding the amount of money you have and its direct correlation to the amount of problems you have also applies to movies. It’s no doubt that someone, somewhere is aching to see a sequel to the ridiculously high-grossing Insidious based solely on how much gold it brought into the coffers. Fortunately, producer Jason Blum doesn’t seem too keen on jumping into the deep end just for the sake of cashing in. He had this to say to Shock Til You Drop: “I wouldn’t say we’re not considering it. “There’s no plan, no release date, nothing like that. I think James [Wan] feels the same as Oren [Peli]. Oren was very skeptical about doing a sequel to Paranormal Activity until Michael [Perry] pitched an idea and it made sense. If Leigh [Whannell] comes up with a story that’s inventive and you feel like there’s a story to tell – as opposed to ‘let’s make another movie and make money’ – and he comes up with something James feels is worth making we would do it. And if Leigh doesn’t, we won’t.” Always pleasing to hear. It doesn’t mean that a sequel (if one ever gets made) will be good – it’s not like Paranormal Activity 2 was anything special, and they apparently waited for “an idea” that “made sense.” But, at least it shuns the practice of shoving a sequel into pre-production and setting a release date regardless of whether the creative types want to […]

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
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