EXCLUSIVE: Peter Luo’s Stars Collective has acquired rights to the Thomas Mendolia-directed horror short Mr. Thisforthat and will develop and produce a feature adaptation. Mendolia is attached to direct, and Michael Karr, who wrote the short, will write. Alexandre Aja (The 9th Life of Louis Drax, The Pyramid) will produce the feature under his Fire Axe Productions banner along with Craig Flores (Crawl, Immortals) via his Bread and Circuses Entertainment banner, and Peter Luo (Crazy Rich Asians, Midway, Marshall) for Stars Collective. Jake Wagner will executive produce.
In the short, a girl from a broken home is visited in her closet by a mysterious creature, Mr. Thisforthat, who promises her anything she wants — at an irreversible price.
'Crawl' Filmmaker Alexandre Aja Directing 'Elijah' For Searchlight Pictures
While attending USC’s film program, Mendolia read Karr’s script and the two quickly bonded over the story’s theme of broken families and impossible wishes. Together, they successfully pitched it to be chosen for the Graduate 546 film class. Mr. Thisforthat then made its world premiere at Fantasia Film Festival last year.
Mendolia and Karr have become the latest filmmakers to join the novel Stars Collective, and Mr. Thisforthat is expected to be one of the first projects officially launched through the studio.
Stars Collective supports young emerging filmmakers and heightens diversity in the global entertainment ecosystem. Launched by Luo, it was initially set up to support 50 emerging filmmakers with a fund starting at $50 million, which can scale up to $100M. The program has been greeted with such positive reception that it is now doubling the number of filmmakers supported.
Through Stars Collective, filmmakers are afforded the opportunity to develop content with the guidance of industry luminaries such as director Sam Raimi and producers Donna Gigliotti, Gianni Nunnari, Chris Lee, Sanping Han, Paula Wagner, Patrick Wachsberger, Eric Heumann and Liming Ke, who all serve on the advisory commission.
Said Luo, “The discovery of great source material from talented young creators is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences for me, and is one of reasons Stars Collective has become such a key pillar in what we do. The broad commercial potential with this project is evident to us and the creative vision and tastes we share with Craig and Alex in terms of how this comes to life, line up perfectly.”
Said Flores, “Alex Aja and I are always on the hunt for innovative horror stories with franchise opportunities that give birth to iconic sinister characters who will haunt audiences dreams the same way Freddy Kruger did for our generation. With Mr. Thisforthat, Michael and Thomas have crafted a very unique dark lore that sends us back to our deepest fear and the consequences of our choices. We were super impressed with their proof of concept short.”
Flores is most recently coming off producing the hit Crawl for Paramount and has several projects in development including Be My Eyes at Paramount, which he’s producing alongside Raimi, and Stephen King’s The Rest Stop at Legendary, with Alex Ross Perry directing.
Aja is most recently coming off directing Crawl, and is currently in post-production on the sci-fi thriller O2, starring Melanie Laurent for Netflix. He is repped by WME, Industry Entertainment and HJTH.
Mendolia and Karr are represented by Verve, Alibi and attorney Larry Zerner.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.