M. Night Shyamalan has set the second feature to be made through his genre producing banner Night Chronicles. The project comes as Shyalaman promotes development exec Ashwin Rajan to president of production for the Media Rights Capital-backed genre label. Shyamalan and MRC set Chris Sparling to write Twelve Strangers, a thriller that involves a jury deliberating a case involving the supernatural. Sparling scripted Buried, the Rodrigo Cortes-directed Ryan Reynolds-in-a-coffin thriller snapped up by Lionsgate after a raucous midnight premiere screening at Sundance by the writer’s UTA reps.
Rajan is the former agent with whom Shyamalan launched the company to produce projects based on the filmmaker’s ideas. The construct of Shyamalan’s original three-year deal with MRC is to make one film a year with up and coming filmmakers. They’ve wrapped the first Night Chronicles film, the John Dowdle-directed Devil.
The thriller will be distributed next February 11 by Universal. That studio, coincidentally, is the major that so far has shown the most interest in the untitled Shyamalan-scripted thriller that CAA is shopping as his possible next directing project. I’m told Bradley Cooper would play a father on a desperate search for his missing child. It might stray into Taken terrain, but the father taps into some supernatural powers to aid the search. THR reported that Cooper, Bruce Willis and Gwyneth Paltrow are loosely attached. There is no certainty a deal will close at Universal, and I’m told there’s interest from some non-studio backers.
Shyamalan’s now preoccupied with launching The Last Airbender. Paramount long ago carved out a pre-Independence Day release date. The July 1 date gives the film a shot at the family film crowd, between Toy Story 3/Grown Ups and the Universal/Illumination animated film Despicable Me.