‘Red’ rounds out Circle lineup

McKee to helm project about wronged pet owner

Management-production shingle Circle of Confusion is adapting and producing the Jack Ketchum horror novel “Red.”

Book is about the terror that can be wrought by a wronged pet owner; Lucky McKee will direct.

Circle partner Jason Lust brought the project to United Artists, which purchased the script by Stephen Susco and is financing the pic.

Lust and partners David Engel, Lawrence Mattis and David Alpert are producing.

“Red” is the story of a man whose dog is killed by a group of hoodlums and the terror that ensues when he sets out to avenge his pet’s death.

Lust said the film will be in the tough, old-school vein of director-writer Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 film “Straw Dogs,” which starred Dustin Hoffman as a mild-mannered math professor forced into violent confrontation.

McKee wrote, directed and produced last year’s horror pic “May,” released by Lions Gate. He is in post-production on another horror film, “The Woods,” starring Patricia Clarkson.

Susco wrote the script for “The Grudge,” the English-lingo remake of the Japanese horror pic “Ju-On,” which Columbia Pictures is releasing this Halloween. He is writing “Threshold,” a remake of a Quebecoise thriller for Dimension Films.

Sony-based Circle of Confusion is also adapting the Brian Michael Bendis graphic novel “Jinx” for Universal; Charlize Theron will topline (Daily Variety, April 28).

Other projects include “A House Called Awful End,” an adaptation of the Philip Ardagh family adventure novel, at Warner Bros., and “The Psycho,” based on the DC Comics strip, also at Universal.

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