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Dimension looks to engage in its own 'Paranormal Activity'

May 4, 2010 |  6:01 pm

EXCLUSIVE: As negotiations between The Weinstein Co. and Disney continue to wear on over the Miramax slate and library, the New York-based film company is forging ahead with the business of developing and making movies.

Dimension Films, the genre label run by Bob Weinstein, is making a deal to develop "The Mummy Archives," described as a more artful and modestly budgeted version of "The Mummy," the insanely lucrative Brendan Fraser franchise.

Monta The film will focus on several young people who are haunted by a mummy curse, with the action playing out very much in the unseen realm, as both the audience and the characters frequently experience the effects of the curse without seeing it explicitly.

The project comes with some appealing names: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, a young Spanish genre director who attracted quite a bit of heat a couple years back for his Spanish-language thriller "The King of the Hill" ("El Rey de la Montana," which the Weinstein Co. released in the U.S.), is in final negotiations to write the screenplay and direct the film. Douglas Wick, the veteran producer behind mega-hits such as "Gladiator," generated the idea and is in final negotiations to produce the film through his Red Wagon Entertainment banner.

In its 11 years of existence, Universal's "Mummy" franchise has generated more than $1.2 billion in global box office across three films. But those movies are CG-dependent and pricey to make, and in the wake of "Paranormal Activity," studios are looking for the big breakout that doesn't cost big money (including companies like Dimension that have always been budget-conscious). The budget for "Mummy Archives" is expected to be in the $5-million range, a number that allows for some lean and mean storytelling but isn't high enough to spook anyone.

--Steven Zeitchik

(Follow me on Twitter.)

Photo: El Rey de la Montana. Credit: The Weinstein Company


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