EXCLUSIVE: AWA Studios has tapped Elle Callahan to direct a feature film adaptation of the company’s original graphic fiction series Hotell. She will also co-adapt the script with Anthony Ruff. AWA Studios president Zach Studin is producing.
“I’m very excited to be working with AWA to adapt John Lees’ terrifying graphic novel Hotell,” Callahan said. “I aim to tell stories that push the horror genre in new directions — and my plan for this piece involves a very unique approach to the storytelling. This horror will feel all too relatable, and no doubt keep you up at night.”
The graphic novel presents a story of dread and intrigue and a mosaic of characters, set in the mysterious and frightening backdrop of the Pierrot Courts Hotel. It was written by well-known comic book creator Lees, drawn by artist Dalibor Talajic, and edited by AWA co-founder and chief creative officer Axel Alonso.
The story is set at a mysterious roadside hotel where lost souls make their last stand with the demons that haunt them. You won’t find it on a map, but if you happen to be driving down Route 66 late at night and you’re truly desperate for shelter, sanctuary, or secrecy, you might see a battered sign on the side of the road: The Pierrot Courts Hotel – where many will check in, but few will check out.
“We’re thrilled to pair the brilliant Elle Callahan with the chilling world and surprising confrontations with personal demons that John Lees, Dalibor Talajic, [artists] Lee Loughridge & Sal Cipriano so remarkably crafted in Hotell,” said Studin.
“Hotell has been such a fun, rewarding comic to work on with Dalibor, Lee, Sal and the AWA team,” Lees said. “The setting of Pierrot Courts works as a canvas within which you can tell all kinds of different horror stories, from the harrowing to the blackly comic, and introduce all manner of different characters. It’s also a world ripe for new interpretations, and I’m so excited to see how Elle Callahan will bring our haunted hotel to the world of film.”
AWA (Artists, Writers & Artisans) develops and builds community around groundbreaking original stories owned by creators across all forms of media including publishing, film and television. In recent months AWA Studios, its newly launched film and TV studio, has begun to solidify that slate with projects that fit with the type of stories they want to tell.
Some of those projects include an adaptation of Old Haunts, with Aaron Rabin adapting; as well as Chariot, which helped launch the division and has Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski directing. AWA Studios also recently announced a global partnership in TV with Fremantle.
As for Callahan, the up-and-coming filmmaker has been busy since her breakout feature Head Count, which she wrote and directed. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was distributed in fall 2018 by Samuel Goldwyn Films. She most recently wrapped Witch Hunt, which stars Gideon Adlon and Abigail Cowen and premiered at SXSW.
Callahan is represented by CAA, Grandview and attorney Marios Rush. AWA is repped by Grandview.