'Dark' helmer to do 'Death' for Fox

“Dark City” helmer Alex Proyas is teaming with scribe Stuart Hazeldine to pen the latest adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story “The Masque of the Red Death” for Fox 2000.

Project is being earmarked as a directorial outing for Proyas, who will produce with partner Andrew Mason and Julie Corman.

Poe’s tale was previously filmed by Roger Corman in 1964 and starred Vincent Price (with Nicolas Roeg handling camera duties). Corman also produced a remake in 1989, directed by Larry Brand. A third film, directed by Alan Birkenshaw and released straight to video, was made in 1991.

Acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa also penned an adaptation a couple of years ago (“The Mask of the Black Death”), but the project never got off the ground.

Proyas and Hazeldine, who scripted the horror thriller “Rizen” for Universal, will move away from the Cormanesque horror version, creating more of a medieval fantasy tale. Poe’s story focuses on a group of nobles felled by the plague despite their taking refuge within a supposedly impregnable palace.

In addition to “Dark City,” Proyas, whose Sydney-based Mystery Clock Cinema has a first-look deal with New Line, previously helmed “The Crow” for Dimension Films.

ICM’s Danny Greenberg brokered the deal on behalf of Proyas and Hazeldine.

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