A fresh spin on the exhausted exorcism genre could be just around the corner. Screenwriter Rebecca Sonnenshine’s (The Vampire Diaries) original spec script, Realm has sold to Relativity Media with director Scott Speer (Step Up: Revolution) attached to helm. Realm, which Deadline says “demonstrates franchise potential for an ass kicking teenage exorcist,” became a hot property after the short film on which it’s based recently hit the web.
The short (which you can watch above) was written by John Swetnam (Into The Storm) and is based on an idea by he cooked up along with Speer. It revolves around a young woman who “possesses the power to enter the soul of the possessed to wage physical battle against their inner demons.” After producing the short, the pair drafted in Sonnenshine to bash out a feature-length script which has now been bought in what’s thought to be a lucrative deal.
The trade goes on to forge comparisons with a number of successful female-driven genre properties. Apparently, Relativity snagged the script in the hopes of creating “a potential franchise in the vein of Resident Evil or Underworld, with a heroine reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Addressing the first two name-drops, Resident Evil and Underworld have suffered from a succession of diluted sequels. But that’s unlikely to be a chief concern as quality seems to rarely be a factor for future instalments to exist nowadays. The mention of Buffy, however, is a much more encouraging sign and indication of a sassy, smart female protagonist who doesn’t take crap from anyone. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of casting.
In the meantime, check out the original short above, which stars Adelaide Kane (The Purge) as the ass-kicking exorcist, and let us know what you think of Realm. Are you sick of the exorcist genre? Or happy that something new might be on its way?