Studio acquires Sonny Mallhi's thriller

Screen Gems has acquired Sonny Mallhi’s spec thriller “The Roommate.”

Story centers on Sara, a college student randomly assigned to a freshman dorm with a stranger named Rebecca. They start off as friends but things turn deadly as Rebecca begins to target people in Sara’s life.

Mallhi, an exec VP at Vertigo, penned the screenplay under a pseudonym so it would be given fair consideration in the marketplace. It wasn’t until after Screen Gems made an offer on “Roommate” that Mallhi revealed that he wrote the spec. Mallhi most recently exec produced “The Strangers” for Vertigo.

Roy Lee, Doug Davison, Mallhi and Irene Yeung will produce via their Vertigo Entertainment banner.

Vertigo recently set up the Colombian hostage drama “Operation Checkmate” at Screen Gems. The banner also produced the thriller “Quarantine” for the genre division. That film is scheduled for an October bow.

Upcoming Screen Gems films include the Samuel L. Jackson starrer “Lakeview Terrace”; “Obsessed,” starring Ali Larter and Beyonce Knowles; and “Armored,” toplined by Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne and Jean Reno.

“Roommate” marks Mallhi’s first screenplay sale.

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