Rogue taps Bertino for directing debut

Focus Features genre arm Rogue Pictures has tapped scribe Bryan Bertino to make his directorial debut on “Strangers.”

Bertino’s screenplay centers on three mysterious strangers who terrorize a young couple in a remote house after they return from a wedding.

Project was originally housed at the genre label’s parent studio, Universal, which snapped up the screenplay in 2004. “Strangers” subsequently moved over to Focus before landing on Rogue’s development slate.

No start date has been set; the project is casting.

Mandate Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment are teaming to produce, with credits going to Mandate’s Nathan Kahane and Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Doug Davison. Mandate’s Joe Drake and Vertigo’s Sonny Malhi exec produce.

Bertino first worked as a grip before segueing to screenwriting with “Strangers,” his first sale. He is working on “Green Eyes,” an original script he sold as a pitch to Paramount and producer Scott Rudin, as well as “Beware the Night” for Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Upcoming Rogue rollouts include “The Return” and “Jet Li’s Fearless.” Banner is in release with Tyrese starrer “Waist Deep.”

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