After spectacularly failing to launch a franchise with Screen Gems’ awful The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, director Harald Zwart is scaling down for his next film, having signed on to direct a microbudgeted horror flick for Blumhouse Productions.
Details about the pic are being kept tightly under wraps for now, but one intriguing aspect of the project, scripted by Robert Ben Garant (Jessabelle), is that it’s being aimed at families, not typically a target audience for horror films.
Still, if any studio can pull off a family-friendly horror movie, it’s Blumhouse, which has taken the genre by storm in the past few years with titles like Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious.
Though Zwart’s credibility as a director was somewhat tarnished by City of Bones‘ abject failure at the box office and with critics, he pulled off a huge hit in 2010 with The Karate Kid, and his other films include family-friendly flicks Agent Cody Banks and The Pink Panther 2.
Garant may be the right scribe for the gig as well – he previously worked on Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb but has racked up some solid horror credits as well, including 2013 horror-comedy Hell Baby and Blumhouse’s soon-to-be-released The Veil.
Blumhouse’s Jason Blum is producing alongside Garant, and Jeanette Brill and Couper Samuelson will executive produce. Between Zwart and Garant, Blumhouse has put together a team that has experience with both horror and younger-skewing comedy, a blend that might pay off in a big way for the studio. Though Blumhouse is currently dominating the horror world, it has the ability to cross over into other genres if execs play their cards right.
We’ll keep you posted as more on the plot of this pivotal title for the studio comes to light.