Dowdle, Dowdle to direct Shyamalan story

Universal Pictures has set Chris Messina to star in “Devil,” a horror-thriller based on an M. Night Shyamalan story that will be directed by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (“Quarantine”).

Production begins in Toronto on Oct. 26.

Pic is being produced by Shyamalan and Sam Mercer. It is the first pic in a deal between Shyamalan and Media Rights Capital to create Night Chronicles, a banner that will hatch one genre film per year for the next three years.

Brian Nelson (“30 Days of Night”) wrote the script. The Dowdles will be exec producers.

Plot’s being kept under wraps, but sources said Messina plays the lead role of Bowden, a sobered-up homicide detective. Messina most recently starred in “Julie and Julia” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

He’s repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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