EXCLUSIVE: In what is the first big project under newly arrived MGM Film Group Chairman Michael De Luca, David Slade’s feature adaptation of acclaimed horror novel Dark Harvest is landing at the studio. Matt Tolmach and David Manpearl are producers thru Matt Tolmach Productions. That label is hot off the success of the last two Jumanji movies and Venom, which combined have grossed over $2.6 billion. Michael Gilio is writing Dark Harvest and will also serve as EP.
Deadline previously broke the news about Slade’s attachment to the 2007 Tor Books novel by Norman Partridge. The project was originally set up at New Regency, which put the project in turnaround.
Dark Harvest is a start right in De Luca’s wheelhouse, the exec having been behind such horror successes as The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and Seven at New Line. De Luca wrote and produced the 1991 movie Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare as well as the TV series Freddy’s Nightmares.
Dark Harvest is set on Halloween in 1963 and centers around the October Boy aka Ol’ Hacksaw Face aka Sawtooth Jack. Whatever the name, everybody in this small Midwestern town knows who he is. He rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare. Both the hunter and the hunted, the October Boy is the prize in an annual rite of life and death. Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. He’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once. But before the night is over, Pete will look into the saw-toothed face of horror–and discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy.
Slade most recently directed and executive produced the pilot for Barkskins for National Geographic and Scott Rudin. He also recently directed the Emmy nominated Black Mirror episode of Bandersnatch.
Dark Harvest is the winner of the Bram Stoker Award and was named one of the “100 Best Novels” of 2006 by Publishers Weekly. Partridge is a two-time Stoker Award-winner, and throughout his career has published three short story collections, several comics, and five novels. Gilio wrote the Jessica Chastain drama Jolene and Dungeons and Dragons at Paramount/Hasbro.
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