Though his feature directorial debut, Winter’s Tale, was an unqualified disaster on absolutely every level, Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman (for his script for A Beautiful Mind, which also won Best Picture) isn’t giving up the director’s chair just yet. This week, he signed on to helm a horror flick called Stephanie, for Blumhouse, Unbroken and The Gotham Group.
The film will tell the story of a “little girl with unworldly abilities who was abandoned before a man and a woman show up claiming to be her parents, thereby interrupting her mysterious world.”
Though that description doesn’t really give much insight into what Stephanie is actually about, we have reason to be hopeful. Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski’s script was noted as one of the best in The Blood List (like the Black List of most liked but un-produced screenplays, only for horror) a few years back. Collins and Piotrowski have been finding success in Hollywood since they wrote Stephanie – Luc Besson recently recruited them to adapt Underground into a film, working from one of his original ideas.
Goldsman, however, is likely still hurting a bit from Winter’s Tale, which is widely considered to be the worst film of 2014 thus far. It flopped at the box office and took a drubbing from critics, who mostly balked at the film’s confusing story and leaden script. Working in horror, a genre where smaller-scale films often become huge successes, might be a good move for the talented triple threat (writer, director and producer).
Throughout his career, Goldsman has delivered some truly stellar films, and there’s no reason why his failure with Winter’s Tale should cause us to worry for his future projects. He was a producer on Lone Survivor, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I Am Legend and Fringe (to name some of his many producing credits) and is also no stranger to horror, having exec-produced Paranormal Activity 2, 3 and 4.
Stephanie is set to roll cameras this fall. No lead has yet been announced, but we’ll keep you posted when we hear more.