Wan cues 'House of Horror' as first in deal
Horror multihyphenate James Wan has signed an eight-film deal with Icon Entertainment Intl.Wan will produce two movies per year for the shingle, focusing on genre pics like the “Saw” franchise for which he’s long been known. The first title under the IEI pact, “House of Horror,” is based on a story by Wan and has Javier Gutierrez, who helmed the critically acclaimed “Tres Dias,” attached to direct. Max La Bella wrote the screenplay, and Wan and Lee Clay will produce. Wan declined to reveal details of the plot. Wan told Variety that with an abundance of good ideas, he knew he wouldn’t be able to direct all of them. So producing the films while having other helmers to shape them became an attractive option. Wan’s reps at Paradigm organized the meeting with Icon and helped package the deal. “Icon really jumped at the idea of working with me, and I was just excited given their interest in genre pics and how well they do overseas,” said Wan from the Berlin Film Festival, where the deal was signed. Fright fare is what Wan has become known for, and he aims to deliver more along those lines under the pact with Icon. “The idea is to produce small, scary, low-budget pics that I enjoy making,” Wan said. “I don’t see myself coming up with any romantic-dramedy ideas right now.” While the deal is set for him to develop and produce the pics, Wan said he wouldn’t dismiss the idea of directing one of them if the opportunity and timing are right. Wan, who wrote the story for the original “Saw” in 2004 and has since been an exec producer of the hit horror franchise, most recently sold his horror pic “Insidious” to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group at the Toronto Film Festival. He is repped by Paradigm and Stacey Testro Intl.