Studio to handle domestic distrib'n, Focus Intl. takes foreign
Following his successful remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Marcus Nispel will direct “Turn” for Radar Pictures at Paramount.Based on a Japanese film by the same name, “Turn” is a supernatural thriller about a woman who slips into a coma after an accident and finds upon waking that she is in a parallel reality — a completely empty city, where she is forced to relive the same day over and over again. Executive producer Roy Lee calls it a “horror version of ‘Groundhog Day.’ ” Radar owner Ted Field will also exec produce, along with Doug Davison and Brooklyn Weaver. Producing for Radar is Joe Rosenberg. Co-producing are Christine Iso and Monica Mullens, who brought the pitch to Radar. Exec VP Brian Witten will oversee the project for Par. Paramount will handle domestic distribution and Focus Intl., Radar’s exclusive rep for co-financing and international distribution, will handle foreign rights. The Japanese “Turn” is more of a love story than a thriller, but Fernley Phillips’ screenplay ups the horror ante, which is what attracted Nispel to the project. “In the original, the thriller aspect is indicated, but then it doesn’t follow through,” Nispel said. “In this version, it’s interesting because you get lured into a love story and suddenly realize you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. It’s an interesting balance you just don’t see a lot.” The Endeavor-repped Nispel will focus on “Turn” after helming Diane Lane in “Need,” also at Paramount. Nispel also is working with Martin Scorsese and author Dean Koontz on a weekly series based on “Frankenstein” for the USA Network (Daily Variety, Jan. 20). The director attracted significant buzz last year with the remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” which was produced by Radar’s Platinum Dunes and released by New Line. Pic generated $80 million in domestic B.O. and became a calling card for the former musicvid and commercial director. Upcoming projects for Radar include Vin Diesel starrer “The Chronicles of Riddick,” in post-production, and “Son of the Mask,” which is being produced with New Line and stars Jamie Kennedy.