Chernin Entertainment has set up UNDERWATER at Fox, paving the way for the aquatic thriller to propel through the development process. The film is being produced by Peter Chernin and Tonia Davis, from the spec written by Brian Duffield.
The story is a harrowing, if straight-forward thriller: After an earthquake destroys their underwater station, a crew of six must navigate two miles in the dangerous unknown depths of the ocean floor to make it safety.
Duffield has been on a hot streak lately. Aside from Chernin purchasing his Underwater spec, he was a writer on this year’s Divergent sequel, Insurgent, and is the writer and executive producer of the mysterious coming-of-age horror project, The Babysitter, to be produced and directed by McG. In addition, he’s developing a post-apocalyptic road movie with Shawn Levy, currently titled Monster Problems.
Duffield also wrote the upcoming Western Jane Got a Gun starring Natalie Portman. Although the film hit a few speed bumps throughout its production–including director Lynne Ramsey suddenly dropping out and distributor Relativity’s bankruptcy–the rights were picked up by The Weinstein Company last month. It is currently slated for release abroad in November, with a domestic release scheduled for February 2016.
Chernin has a massive development slate, including the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes. The company has been on tear lately, with the success of films like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Spy. Chernin and producers are currently looking for the right director to bring Underwater to the surface.
Josh Lyons | Staff Writer