Over the course of 10 years, Whannell and Blumhouse have collaborated on seven projects, including The Invisible Man, in theaters today.
The two-year, first-look deal will cover projects that Whannell proposes to write, direct or produce.
Jason Blum, Blumhouse CEO and founder, praised Whannell’s vision. “Leigh creates movies which not only build franchises but fundamentally change the landscape of their genre. After he and James Wan made Saw, it launched dozens of copycats. Their work with Blumhouse on Insidious, founded not just a franchise but dozens of classical proscenium PG-13 supernatural horror films. I have no doubt that will be true for The Invisible Man and for anything else he wants to create. I just want to be there with him when he does!”
Whannell also reflected on the deal.
“Ten years ago, I walked into Jason Blum’s office thinking that I was having a general meeting with a producer who liked horror movies,” he said. “Little did I know that a decade long partnership and friendship was about to begin. I have since watched his then-infant company, Blumhouse, grow into a powerhouse of genre films; a nurturing place that is willing to take risks on people. Indeed, they have taken plenty of risks on me and I look forward to taking many more with them as they continue to grow in the world of film and television.”
Whannell is represented by CAA and Myman, Greenspan, Fox, Rosenberg, Mobasser, Younger & Light.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Whannell began his career as an actor. He was also a presenter on the cult hit TV series Recovery, which he later went on to host in its last two seasons. As a film critic on Recovery, Whannell interviewed names such as George Clooney, Jackie Chan, and Tim Burton.
The co-creator of Saw, he studied film at the prestigious Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where he met filmmaker James Wan. They collaborated on the 2004 Lionsgate release Saw, which Whannell wrote and starred in.
In addition to his work on the screenplay for Saw II, Whannell wrote and starred in Saw III and is an executive producer on the Saw franchise. He is also a creative consultant on its video game. The franchise is recognized as one of the most successful horror movie series and was named so by the Guinness World Records in 2010.
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