EXCLUSIVE: Joaquin Phoenix is in negotiations to reunite with M. Night Shyamalan for a new feature project that will start shooting in November in the director’s hometown of Philadelphia. The project will also bring Shyamalan back together with Jason Blum, who will produce. The two worked together most recently on upcoming Universal release The Visit. Marc Bienstock also produces, while Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider are on board as exec producers.
As with most Shyamalan projects, the logline is being kept under tight wraps. Deadline understands that the new project will be on the lower end of the budget scale, more in keeping with The Visit (budgeted at $5 million and fully financed by Shyamalan) than, say, the likes of The Last Airbender ($150 million).
Phoenix and Shyamalan worked together on Signs in 2002 and The Village in 2004. The director looks set to enjoy something of a renaissance. The Visit, about a single mother who finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents, has been generating strong buzz. Wayward Pines, the TV series Shyamalan exec produced and directed the pilot for, has also been a ratings winner for Fox.
The Phoenix-Shyamalan-Blum reunion is not set up at a particular studio. Phoenix and Shyamalan are both repped by WME. Phoenix is also with Sloane Offer.