Since directing Paranormal Activity from his San Diego condo, Oren Peli has ushered in a new era of "found footage" movies, which seem to be everywhere these days. What isn't anywhere these days is Peli's directorial follow-up, Area 51, but perhaps that because he's too busy as a producer? We're not sure for the huge delay, hence the question mark.
Peli has been producing like crazy, including two Paranormal Activity sequels, last year's Insidious, and the current ABC series The River, which again adds an element of "found footage" into the series. His latest producing effort, Chernobyl Diaries, has been picked up by Alcon Entertainment, and will hit theaters this Spring. The movie follows a group of kids traveling through Europe and get stuck in the city that the workers from the former Chernobyl nuclear plant used to live in and discover something is living there.
Check out the press release (courtesy of Collider) below for more, but what won't be included in the release is the fact that the movie, based on an idea by Peli, was written by Shane and Carey Van Dyke, who have mostly worked on straight-to-DVD rip-offs of other popular movies, including Paranormal Activity rip Paranormal Entity, which Shane wrote and directed. To top it off, they're both Dick Van Dyke's grandsons, which apparently means nepotism is dead.
So, next time you end up renting The Day the Earth Stopped instead of The Day the Earth Stood Still or Transmorphers instead of Transformers, you can thank Dick Van Dyke's grandsons. [Deadline]
LOS ANGELES FEBRUARY 14, 2012—Alcon Entertainment has acquired North American and international release rights in Germany, Spain and Japan for the next horror thriller from Oren Peli (“Paranormal Activity”), it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.
The film will be released by Warner Bros. via Alcon’s output deal on Memorial Day weekend this year.
Produced by Peli and Brian Witten (“Dark City,” “Final Destination,” “Friday the 13th”) and directed by Brad Parker, “Chernobyl Diaries,” was fully financed and sold internationally by FilmNation Entertainment. Kosove and Johnson are Executive Producers.
An original story by Peli, “Chernobyl Diaries” is set in the city of Prypiat that once housed the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, the horror-thriller follows a group of friends who, while vacationing in Europe, find themselves stranded in the abandoned city only to discover that they are not alone.
Dave Fierson, Alcon’s SVP of Business Affairs, brought the movie into Alcon. The deal was negotiated by Scott Parish, Alcon’s COO/CFO, Scott Edel of Loeb & Loeb and Nancy Bruington of O’Melveny & Myers on behalf of Alcon and by Alison Cohen, Linda Lichter and Micah Green on behalf of Oren Peli and FilmNation.
One of Hollywood’s most sought after talents, Peli wrote and directed the box office hit “Paranormal Activity,” which launched a successful franchise for Paramount having grossed more than $576 million worldwide from three installments to date. He is the creator of “The River,” a paranormal jungle adventure for ABC, which premiered to solid numbers last week with a two-part debut.
A veteran visual effects artist, Parker served as the visual effects supervisor on 2010’s critically acclaimed “Let Me In” and makes his directorial debut with this project.
States Kosove and Johnson: “Alcon is thrilled to have acquired this unique, thoughtful and very frightening film. The content is all the more terrifying given that it’s based on reality.”
States Glen Basner, CEO of FilmNation Entertainment: “We are thrilled to have found such a terrific home for our first fully financed film. Congratulations to Brad, Oren and Brian who have created an incredible movie that will truly terrify audiences.”