Bryan Bertino will return to write script

Rogue Pictures has set in motion a sequel to its summer hit “The Strangers” and has set Bryan Bertino to return to write the script.

Bertino wrote the original and made his directing debut on the film; it’s yet to be determined whether he’ll helm the sequel.

The expectation is that Liv Tyler, along with several of the original villains, will return. Production is being slated for early 2009.

“Strangers” became Rogue’s first breakout hit, and the genre division of Focus Features is approaching the sequel as a franchise that could have the legs of “Saw” or “Scream.”

Budgeted at $9 million, the film grossed $54 million domestically in a highly competitive summer release slot. It has just begun an international rollout that expands to the U.K. this Friday.

Like the original, the sequel will be a co-production of Vertigo Entertainment and Mandate Pictures, with Doug Davison, Roy Lee and Nathan Kahane producing. Rogue is co-financing along with Intrepid Pictures, whose principals, Marc D. Evans and Trevor Macy, will be exec producers.

Bertino is also scripting to direct “Black,” a character-driven thriller with supernatural elements, and is rewriting to direct the thriller “Alone.” Both are for Rogue.

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