EXCLUSIVE: The teddy bears are coming to life… and death. Lost and Cloverfield cinematographer Michael Bonvillain is making his directorial debut with dark comedy Teddy Bears Are For Lovers and is in talks with Lords of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop to build the malevolent teddy bears.

The film is based on a short film by David Ernesto Vendrell, Matthew Hawksworth and Almog Avidan Antonir, produced by Endless Media and exec produced by Inner Space and Gremlins 2 director Joe DanteDavid Vendrell wrote the script.

The film, set during a Valentine’s Day party, follows college playboy Collin and his current head-over-heels girlfriend Sarah as they are targeted by a group of blood thirsty, but adorable teddy bears who come to life seeking revenge for the broken hearts of Collin’s ex-girlfriends. Together, the couple must evade the teddy bears and earn the forgiveness of these begrudged and wildly different ex-girlfriends before the sun rises in order to break the curse, all while confronting whether their current relationship is meant to be.

Dante said he was flattered to be asked to come on board such an “offbeat comedy-horror project that has some affinities with Gremlins”.

“It’s rare to find a project with the right balance of humor, scares and emotions that can make a film entertaining on so many various levels. This project, which at its heart is a love story, builds so many different layers on top of it to create an absolutely horrifying and hilarious thrill ride that keeps you entertained from start to finish. Having been involved as a cinematographer on a number of great films over the years that blended elements of horror and thriller with comedy, I’m excited to direct a project that I think hits all those notes and is hugely entertaining,” added Bonvillain.

Najeeb Khuda, Gavin Lurie and Andrew Joustra, who run Endless Media, said that they can’t wait to bring the teddy bears to life. “Teddy Bears immediately drew us in from page one because it has something that has become increasingly lacking at the multiplex… it’s a blast. Taking inspiration from the type of films we grew up with, this film hits every chord of why we love going to the movies: mixing just the right amount of thrills and scares with a fun joyride,” they added.

Endless Media and Michael Bonvillain are represented by UTA. Joe Dante is represented by Gersh and Echo Lake Entertainment. David Ernesto Vendrell is represented by Madhouse Entertainment.