EXCLUSIVE: Bunny Lake is no longer missing. A remake of the 1965 crime thriller Bunny Lake is Missing, is in the early development stages under Sony’s Screen Gem label. The original was directed and produced by Otto Preminger and starred Laurence Olivier, Carol Lynley, and Keir Dullea.
Based on the novel of the same name by Merriam Modell, the gripping story follows a mother who comes to pick up her daughter Bunny from school only to find her missing. She and her brother begin looking for the child and eventually call the police. When the police start investigating, they can’t find any evidence of a child ever living at the home and learn that Bunny was the name of the mother’s imaginary childhood friend. It’s not clear whether the mother is crazy or she is being set up by someone who is glasslighting her.
The new twist on the story is being kept under wraps but is said to revolve around divorce and child custody. Sony had no comment.
The remake rights were jointly owned by Columbia and Otto Preminger Films, which is run by daughter Victoria Preminger, who is expected to have a producing credit. Her legendary filmmaking father was behind such films as Anatomy of a Murder, The Man with the Golden Arm, Laura, Advise & Consent, Exodus, Porgy and Bess, and Carmen Jones.
Adam Fields, who found this title within Sony’s vault of abandoned projects and pitched it to Screen Gems, is producing the film. Together, Preminger and Fields located the son of deceased author Modell — John Modell — who is a retired professor at Carnegie Mellon and secured to book rights in certain foreign territories.
This is the second project plucked from Sony’s archives as Deadline exclusively reported last week the that the studio is in development on Shrink, an original IP based on Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld with Doug Belgrad and Fields producing.
Screen Gems exec Eric Paquette is overseeing the project. Dan Primzoic negotiated the deal with Vicky Preminger and John Modell, who was repped in the deal by Don Congdon & Associates in New York.