With studios no longer willing to take expensive bets, the name of the game these days has been Return On Investment. Universal spent most of the last year dumping a number of expensive projects, and severing their relationship with Hasbro which spawned the $200 million soggy blockbuster “Battleship.” So far in 2012, the studio is batting .500 with two hits — “Contraband” and “Safe House” — and two flops in “Big Miracle” and “Wanderlust” (seriously, what is wrong with everyone, this movie is fun). But it seems one project they axed has found it’s way back into development.
Taking a cue from their rivals at Paramount, Fox and Warner Bros. who all had big first quarter hits with “The Devil Inside,” “Chronicle” and “Project X” — projects that were cheap to make and earned their money back quickly — Universal is going ahead and taking the former McG-helmed “Ouija” and fast-tracking it for a 2013 release. But wait, there’s more – formerly envisioned as a family adventure movie in the vein of “The Mummy” (huh?) with a budget close to $100 million, the project is now being totally reinvented as $5 million cheapie scare flick. And guess who’s producing?
That’s right, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form‘s Blumhouse Productions, the same dudes behind the “Paranormal Activity” franchise. Also along for the ride is Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes, no strangers to schlock, best known for terrible horror movie remakes (“The Texas Chainsaw Masscare,” “Friday The 13th,” “A Nightmare On Elm Street“).
No word yet on who will direct or star in this thing, but it will probably be people you’ve never heard of in a movie about a group of teens who use a ouija board and conjure up an evil spirit, and then have to deal with it. Lots of jump scares follow and the movie will end with a URL where you can go to find out what happened. Man, this shit just writes itself. If you guys need some rewrites, just drop us a line. [Deadline]