Par, Kerner dig ‘Monster’

Studio buys Tripp's Halloween family/adventure pitch

HOLLYWOOD — Hoping for a graveyard smash, Paramount Pictures has put “Monster Mash” on its dance card.

Studio preemptively bought scribe Ben Tripp’s Halloween family/adventure pitch for Par-based Jordan Kerner to produce.

Project will be a combo of live-action and CGI. Halloween-set pic focuses on the notion that Halloween is monsters’ favorite day of the year, since they can come out without being noticed, receive awards for costumes, feel almost human and accomplish their errands and chores for the entire year. The story will turn on a 14-year-old boy and his father discovering the monsters’ secret.

Kerner Entertainment production head Paul Neesan will exec produce and supervise development. Tripp’s manager Lawrence Mattis also will exec produce.

Simultaneously, Par has acquired film rights to the 1962 No. 1 hit “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett for use in the film. The producers plan to record an update of the song by a modern band for the film.

Pickett portrayed Dr. Frankenstein and co-wrote 1995’s “Monster Mash: The Movie,” released on USA Home Video.

Tripp, whose background is in advertising and theme park design, is repped by UTA and managed by Circle of Confusion. The pitch included character drawings Tripp created.

Kerner Entertainment, which produced “Snow Dogs,” “Inspector Gadget” and “George of the Jungle,” signed a four-year first-look deal with Par last April. Kerner projects at Paramount include a pair of TV remakes — “Have Gun Will Travel,” written by Dan Pyne, and “The Streets of San Francisco,” with Robert Eisele scripting — along with family comedy “We’re Having a Baby,” romantic comedy “Daddy’s Girls” and drama “A Theory of Relativity.”

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