EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has acquired the Stephen Herman horror spec script The Culling for Shazam! helmer David F. Sandberg to direct. Sandberg & Lotta Losten will produce via their newly formed Mångata production banner, alongside Good Fear Content’s Chris Bender & Jake Weiner, with Scott Stoops exec producing.
A troubled priest confines himself to a remote cabin in the middle of the woods where he attempts to make a last stand against the demon that terrorized his family when he was a child.
Lionsgate’s Aaron Janus is overseeing the project along with Aaron Edmonds. Swedish-born Sandberg is coming off Shazam!, which grossed over $366M with Zachary Levi in the title role. Sandberg and Losten got started in 2013 when their short film Lights Out became a viral sensation with over 100 million hits. Short was acquired by New Line and Sandberg directed the feature with James Wan producing. That led Sandberg to the hit The Conjuring spinoff Annabelle: Creation.
Sandberg and Losten have stayed close to their genre roots despite entering the DC superhero terrain, releasing two horror shorts this year in the confines of their home during quarantine. The short are Shadowed and Not Alone In Here.
The Culling scribe Herman grew up in the Bronx but currently lives in Brooklyn and got his start shooting and editing music videos before creating the indie producing company Broken Box and branching into shorts and eventually feature scripts, with Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone his inspiration.
Good Fear’s current slate features My Spy, to be released by Amazon, and Disney’s upcoming Mulan.
Sandberg is represented by CAA, Gotham Group and attorney Jeff Hynick of Jackoway Austen. Stephen Herman is repped by Good Fear and attorney Marios Rush. Robert Melnik negotiated the deals for Lionsgate.