Studio stalks thriller pact from 'Stranger' writer

“The Strangers” writer-director Bryan Bertino has scared up a deal to write and direct two more thrillers for Rogue Pictures, the genre arm of Focus Features.

The modestly budgeted “Strangers” has grossed $52 million at the B.O.; Bertino’s deal does not include a sequel.

Bertino, who will earn seven figures for writing and directing each title, will start the pact with “Black,” a character-driven thriller with supernatural elements. The film will be produced by Michael Connolly under his Mad Hatter Entertainment banner. Connolly is Bertino’s manager.

Bertino will follow with “Alone,” a thriller Rogue had already been developing. Bertino will rewrite it with an eye to direct.

Separately, Bertino is writing the thriller “Green Eyes” for Paramount and producer Scott Rudin, who made a pitch deal with Bertino right after “The Strangers” sold to Focus and the town buzzed about the script. Rogue co-prexy Andrew Rona then gave Bertino the opportunity to direct, which has created his current momentum.

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