EXCLUSIVE: Only days after A24 and DirecTV bought his well-reviewed horror film February out of the Toronto Film Festival, Osgood Perkins has decided on his next film and again will do it with Rob Paris. Perkins will write and direct I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, about a young nurse named Lily who is hired as caretaker for an elderly best-selling author of ghost stories as she lives out her final days in her beloved country home. The only problem is that the home is host to a horrific ghost story of its own.
Paris’ Paris Film Inc will produce and co-finance through the recently announced venture with Robert Menzies’s Ottawa-based production shingle Zed Filmworks and Canadian real estate developer Alphonse Ghossein’s Go Insane Films.
Casting is under way to bring the project before the cameras in the spring. Paris and Menzies will produce, and Ghossein will executive produce. Paradigm, which reps Perkins, will handle North American rights.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to continue our collaboration with Osgood,” Paris and Menzies said. “February was as good an experience as we’ve ever had. And Pretty Thing is exactly what we’re looking for in our new venture – a smart, commercial and elegant filmmaker-driven story that will attract top talent.”
February, which starred Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boyton, was acquired buy A24 after it premiered in the Vanguard section at TIFF. The film next opens Fantastic Fest on September 24 in Austin.
As far as Paris Film and Zed Filmworks go, they recently joined forces in a partnership with Go Insane Films to co-finance and produce a slate of five films during the first two years with production based in Ottawa. I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is the third project announced under the deal.
Other projects include Chris Eigeman’s Trinity, which tracks the harrowing and life-changing experience of two brilliant young physicists recruited from Columbia University in 1943 to help build the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, and Zak Hilditch’s Numbskull, which tells the story of internet sensation Billy “The Kid” O’Connor, who must reconcile the extreme exploits that brought him fame and fortune while driving away his wife and daughter.
Paris will oversee acquisitions and packaging in Los Angeles, while Menzies will run point in Ottawa and oversee all aspects of physical production.
A24, the company that distributed Alex Garland’s Ex Machina to great success, has been very active in acquiring properties recently. In Toronto alone, it took hold (with DirecTV) of Into the Forest, about a pair of teen sisters live in a remote part of a Northern California forest on the brink of an apocalypse; the documentary De Palma about filmmaker Brian De Palma; and John Cameron Mitchell’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties, which is based on a short story by Neil Gaiman and stars Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman and Alex Sharp (Tony winner for The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time). A24 also has a true Oscar contender in Room, which stars Brie Larson in a career-making role.