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Spooky haunts family audiences

Sam Raimi's genre label to launch new banner

Sam Raimi’s genre label Ghost House is launching Spooky Pictures as a new banner that will produce thrillers for family audiences.

First pic will be “The Substitute,” a remake of the Danish thriller that Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”) will helm and Columbia Pictures will co-finance and distribute through a first-look deal with Spooky.

Announcement follows a similar label launch by Disney, which is pairing up with Guillermo del Toro to make scary pics for family auds through Double Dare You (Daily Variety, Sept. 11), and signals the kind of thrillers Hollywood may soon be unspooling at the megaplex. Should the labels find an audience, the shift away from slasher fare and the like, often referred to as “gore porn,” is likely.

Project revolves around a terrified sixth-grade class as the students race to reveal to their parents that their new substitute teacher is an evil alien being.

Derrickson is penning the script with Paul Harris Boardman, who co-wrote “Emily Rose” with Derrickson. The two also collaborated on the redo of Fox’s “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

Ole Bornedal originally wrote and directed “The Substitute,” which bowed in 2007.

Spooky will finance, develop and produce its own family fare under Ghost House, which has a deal with Mandate Pictures.

Raimi and Rob Tapert (“The Grudge” series and “30 Days of Night”) will serve as producers of the “Substitute” remake through Spooky, while Russell Hollander and Nathan Kahane will serve as executive producers. Tendo Nagenda and J.R. Young will shepherd for Spooky.

Pic’s original filmmakers, Bornedal and Michael Obel, will produce through their Thura Films banner.

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