Credit: Francois Berthier/Variety
Rising horror director Alexandre Aja is teaming up with the biggest name in indie horror, Jason Blum, for SLEEPWALKER. Aja is directing from a script penned by Jonathan Hirschbein, who wrote the Matt Dillon and Willem Dafoe-led action/drama Bad Country and Jason Momoa’s directorial debut Road to Paloma. Blum is producing for his Blumhouse Productions label, while Ian Bryce produces via his own shingle. Aimee LeMaire will oversee for Ian Bryce Productions. Plot details are being kept hush, though sources let on that the project involves a sleep lab study.
In the past decade, Aja has established himself as a formidable presence in the horror medium – writing, directing, and producing a slew of noteworthy films. Aja is perhaps best known for directing The Hills Have Eyes remake, 20th Century Fox’s Mirrors, and Piranha 3-D. Most recently, he scripted the Elijah Wood-led POV horror film Maniac and produced Fox’s The Pyramid.
His latest directorial effort was an adaptation of Joe Hill’s Horns, which follows a murder suspect who begins to grow a set of devilish horns as he searches for the real killer. The black comedy/thriller starred Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella, and Joe Anderson.
His next thriller, Miramax’s The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, stars Jamie Dornan, Aaron Paul, Sarah Gadon, Oliver Platt, and Molly Parker. He also produced Fox’s horror/thriller The Other Side of the Door, due for release early next year.
Blumhouse had a banner year, producing some of 2015’s biggest horror hits. The found-footage Unfriended and The Gallows struck big returns, but it was hits like the Joel Edgerton-directed thriller The Gift, Leigh Whannell’s horror prequel Insidious: Chapter 3, and the M. Night Shyamalan-helmed The Visit that debuted to both heavily successful critical and financial receptions. The Visit in particular dominated in its month of release and sparked a resurgence for Shyamalan’s career.
Blumhouse enjoyed their partnership with Shyamalan so much that they’re producing the director’s next indie thriller, which stars James McAvoy and The Witch‘s Anya Taylor Joy. The untitled thriller is set to begin production next month in Philadelphia.
The shingle is also in preproduction on their first romantic thriller, The Keeping Hours, which stars Lee Pace and Carrie Coon. Production is set for December on that one, to be directed by Karen Moncrieff.
Ian Bryce Prods. is currently in production on the Brad Pitt satire War Machine, which Netflix acquired distribution rights for earlier this year. They’ll next work with Pitt again for the sequel to World War Z, which has a planned release date of June 9th, 2017.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor