'Prom' scribe adapting 1971 Lieberman tome

Paramount Pictures has decided to go to “Crawlspace,” tapping horror specialist Stephen Susco (“The Grudge”) to adapt Herbert Lieberman’s novel and setting up the project with Evolution Entertainment.

Story, published in 1971, centers on a couple who have retired to the country and decide to ask a shy young man who’s repairing their heater to stay for dinner. Mysterious occurrences mount over the next few weeks, culminating with the discovery that the man has taken up residence in the basement crawlspace.

Sony’s “The Grudge” was a surprise hit last year with $110 million domestically. Susco’s also penning “The Grudge 2″ and wrote “Prom Night” for Columbia and Original Films.

In 1972, CBS made a TV movie based on “Crawlspace,” starring Arthur Kennedy and Teresa Wright. Underlying rights to the book remained with CBS and were transferred to Paramount since both are members of the Viacom corporate family.

Par co-president of production Alli Shearmur is overseeing the project with Matt Jackson. Evolution partners Mark Burg, Gregg Hoffman and Oren Koules are producing, and Chris Ridenhour is co-producing.

Evolution’s Twisted Pictures produced “Saw,” is currently in production on “Saw 2″ and just completed its first feature under its nine-picture deal with Lions Gate with “Catacombs,” starring Shannyn Sossamon and Pink.

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