Last week, the proof-of-concept short The Leviathan was all the rage online. Today we learned that it’s being turned into a feature. Now here’s another one: Realm, a brief supernatural action movie that was only posted to Vimeo two weeks ago, is today being reported by Deadline as expanding via Relativity Studios (The Transporter Refueled). Apparently there was a spec script already in conjunction with the short, which is also more like a proof-of-concept pitch reel than its own entity, and that script was sent out this month as the short made its way online.
Perhaps this is how things are best done in Hollywood now, even by vets in the business. Like with The Leviathan, Realm is not some calling card of unknown filmmakers trying to get their foot in the door. The spec script is by Rebecca Sonnenshine, a story producer for The Vampire Diaries, and comes from an idea by screenwriter John Swetnam (Into the Storm; Step Up All In) and director Scott Speer (Step Up Revolution; Step Up All In), who collaborated on the three-minute version down below.
The premise is basically Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Cell, as it’s about a teenage exorcist who can enter the afflicted’s soul (wearing black leather a la Underworld) and literally fight their possessing demons directly (demons with Wolverine-like claws). The short stars Adelaide Kane (The Purge; The Devil’s Hand) as the kick-ass heroine, but it’s not certain if she’ll make the transition to the feature. Speer will direct the full version, though, with Swetnam producing.
I figure everyone involved, especially Relativity, is thinking franchise potential, and the idea does have such promise. Even though it’s also just an idea here without a story. But it also might work better, like Buffy, as a TV series.