Oren Peli announced himself as a genre director to watch after he caught Steven Spielberg’s attention and delivered the stripped back, franchise-launching “Paranormal Activity” in 2007. But since then Peli has only taken on director’s duties once more (on the forthcoming “Area 51”) and has instead seen his focus shift primarily to producing and writing. And that’s a trend that seems set to continue after departing the director’s chair on the Edgar Allen Poe project, “Eliza Graves.”
The film has been acquired by Millennium Films at the American Film Market this week, but the news accompanying that acquisition is that Peli is now only attached as a producer while “The Machinist” director Brad Anderson will replace him at the helm. The film is set to go in front of cameras early next year, with Deadline reporting that offers will be made to the principal cast from next week. It marks a particularly busy time for Anderson, who recently wrapped “The Hive” starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin.
Based on one of Poe’s short stories (“The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”), the film will follow a physician who falls in love with a patient at the mental institution he is working at. So, “A Dangerous Method” by way of Poe then? Ian McKellen and Natalie Portman were once linked to the lead roles, but we wouldn’t expect to see such high-profile names attached when casting is announced in the coming weeks.