EXCLUSIVE: Hot on the heels of its Toronto domestic rights sale of I, Tonya to 30WEST and Neon, Miramax Films has acquired The Perfection, which will be the next film directed by The Matador and Dom Hemingway helmer Richard Shepard. Shepard wrote the script with Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder. Pic is a horror-thriller about two cello prodigies and a sinister obsession that drives the dark pursuit of perfection. Miramax Films will finance, and CEO Bill Block will produce with Shepard and Stacey Reiss (The Eagle Huntress). The plan is to quickly cast the leads and start production in early 2018.

The writers first met on the pilot of the Sarah Michelle Gellar TV series Ringer, which Charmelo and Snyder created and Shepard directed. “I had been stewing on a cool idea for an elevated horror movie for some time,” says Shepard. “Knowing that Eric and Nicole love and know this genre, I thought they’d be a perfect fit.” The trio wrote the script on spec during the summer, and Block took it off the table 48 hours after he read it.

“Bill’s always been such a great supporter of my work, and I thought he’d see the potential in this material,” Shepard said. “It’s ambitious, fun and truly scary. I can’t wait to get rolling.”

Block called the script “the kind of project we at Miramax dream about, a true page-turner, full of the kind of surprises that make for amazing films. Richard has been a friend for years, always showing me his latest work. I’m thrilled to be able to take this new journey with him, and make this movie,” Block said.

Aside from the films, Shepard directed 12 episodes of HBO’s Girls, and the pilots for Criminal Minds and Ugly Betty, as well as the Emmy-nominated docu I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale for HBO. He just sold his short Tokyo Project to HBO, with Elisabeth Moss starring. HBO premieres it October 14. He is repped by UTA, Tom Lassally of 3 Arts and Alan Wertheimer at Jackoway.

Charmelo and Snyder, who besides Ringer co-executive produced and wrote for the CW’s Supernatural, are repped by UTA, the Shuman Company and attorney Jamie Mandelbaum.