EXCLUSIVE: Fresh from winning the Emmy for Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series for Ozark, Jason Bateman has found his next feature film to direct. He’ll helm Shut In, the spec script by first time scribe Melanie Toast that New Line acquired in September.
Bateman had been developing to direct a film based on the Hasbro board game Clue, teaming with Ryan Reynolds at Fox/Disney. That project is still alive, but it would have been too much for Bateman to get it done and get back to his Netflix series. Then he found Shut In, a contained thriller he fell for quickly, and one that is a better fit for his schedule. They’re negotiating, but sources said that the film is on course for a production start in the first quarter of 2020.
The spec is an edgy thriller in the vein of Panic Room, in which a single mother is held captive by her violent ex, with her two young children left at risk. She must do everything to protect them and survive. Bateman won’t star in the movie. He last directed The Family Fang and Bad Words.
Exec producing are Cinestate’s Amanda Presmyk and Danielle Cox, Farah Films’ Andrew Farah and Vertigo’s Miri Yoon. Richard Brener, Daria Cercek and Josh Mack will oversee for New Line.
This is a nice development for Toast, who lives in a small Texas town with her husband and children, and whose script was first discovered by Sonnier on The Black List and later in The BloodList, which tracks the best genre scripts. He purchased it with the intention to quickly self-finance the film as an indie, and he introduced Toast to Farah, who signed her as manager, and she signed with UTA.
Bateman is repped by CAA and Lighthouse Management & Media.