EXCLUSIVE: Fox has picked up rights to Tag with director John Leonetti attached to direct and Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski (Universal/Blumhouse’s forthcoming Stephanie) scripting. If you remember, Leonetti directed the horror film Annabelle which was released last year by Warner Bros. just in time for Halloween and then became the highest-grossing horror film and one of the most profitable films of 2014. Annabelle grossed $255.2M worldwide on a budget of around $5M. This project was in development at Universal for a period of time, but then the rights reverted back to BOOM!, which brought it to Fox under their first-look deal with the studio.
The Tag graphic novel first started out as a comic book that was created and written by Keith Giffen (DC’s Justice League). It was drawn by Kody Chamberlain (Punks) and Chee and then serialized as a three issue mini-series in 2006. It was collected into a graphic novel trade paperback in December 2014.
The story centers on an everyday man who is “tagged” by a random stranger and returns home to make a terrifying discovery– his body is decomposing before his very eyes. He must figure out the origin of the curse, or make the morally challenging decision to pass it on to somebody else before it overtakes his body. The plot of the film is being kept under wraps but will be designed as a psychological thriller with elements of supernatural horror and focus on a female protagonist.
BOOM! CEO Ross Richie will produce along with president of development Stephen Christy. BOOM!’s SVP Film Adam Yoelin will co-produce. Ryan Jones and Mark Roybal will oversee for Fox.
Leonetti just wrapped the feature Wolves At The Door for New Line Cinema. Writers Collins and Piotrowski are following up Stephanie with an untitled horror film to be directed by Marc Munden for A24 and producer David Goyer.
BOOM! has a first-look feature film deal at Fox that sees first-dollar gross on the underlying rights to its comic books realized if a film is made — a first-dollar gross that BOOM! splits with its creators.
Among its other films in development at the studio is Imagine Agents with Michael Keaton attached to star and Anonymous Content producing; BOOM!’s hit series Lumberjanes with Will Widger (The Munchkin) attached to write; Malignant Man with James Wan (Furious 7) producing with an eye to direct and Zak Olkewicz adapting; and The Foundation with Evan Daugherty (TMNT) adapting.
Leonetti is repped by CAA; Collins and Piotrowski are repped by UTA.