EXCLUSIVE: Lucas Amann has become attached to direct Popsicle, an elevated genre pic based on the original concept of his own 2008 short of the same name. Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah and Josh Waller are producing for their SpectreVision banner, alongside Lee Stobby, and with Kyle Hansen for Red Sea Media. Red Sea Media is selling worldwide.

Amann wrote the script about 12-year-old Wyatt and his younger sister Rory, as they wake to find themselves trapped in a fantastical underground palace designed by a madman with a penchant for all things childlike. They take refuge with a tribe of lost and forgotten children who are also stuck in the maze, but when Rory is snatched away by their new “Daddy,” Wyatt and the others must band together and rescue her from the deepest recesses of his labyrinth.

In addition to his short, Amann has also worked creatively on the sets of Machete and All The Boys Love Mandy Lane.

Roman Kopelevich and SpectreVision CEO Lisa Whalen will serve as executive producers. Kopelevich says Popsicle is “reminiscent of cult classics such as The Goonies and People Under The Stairs. If Willy Wonka went mad and started trapping children inside of his Chocolate Factory, we’d be close to the world that Lucas has created.”

Wood adds, “Ever since we were introduced to the psychedelic technicolor world of Lucas’ Popsicle, we have been dedicated to bringing his pure and disturbing vision to life. ‘Daddy’ is a twisted new iconic horror villain to ooze into our collective nightmares.”

Wood co-founded SpectreVision in 2010 with partners Noah and Waller to tell character-driven stories tackling emotional and human experiences that test the boundaries of the genre space. Credits include Cooties and A Girl Walks Home Along At Night.