EXCLUSIVE: Fox has acquired Dead Mall, a pitch that will be written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the duo that shared the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with Alexander Payne for The Descendants and wrote and directed the Sundance sensation The Way Way Back. Several studios bid on it.
The pitch is a comedy-horror movie set in a dead mall. The title comes from a growing national phenomenon, these second tier malls that are scattered about the country, skeletal shrines to a boom in shopping. When the shoppers stopped coming, the malls fell into disrepair and closed. Set in that backdrop, the comedy concerns an ensemble of 40-year old guys and girls, seemingly with enough brainpower to escape a slasher film-quality killer, but maybe not. Kevin Walsh is producing through B Story, and Faxon and Rash will be executive producers. B Story has an overall deal at Sony Pictures TV with two shows currently in development at NBC and Epix. Walsh produced Manchester By The Sea, which premieres Saturday at Sundance. Kenneth Lonergan wrote and directed, and Casey Affleck, Gretchen Mol, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler star. Faxon is repped by CAA and Principato Young, Rash by CAA and Primary Wave Entertainment.