Haxan, Amber team; Sanchez to direct

Haxan Films and Amber Entertainment are looking for Bigfoot, setting an October start date for lensing “Exists,” with “Blair Witch Project” director Eduardo Sanchez to helm.

“Exists,” written by Jamie Nash and Sanchez, follows a group of twentysomethings who take a trip to a cabin deep in the wooded wilderness and are methodically hunted by a Bigfoot-like beast.

“The film is the first in a trilogy exploring and reinventing the Bigfoot myth,” Sanchez said. “We all remember the terror of watching such classics as ‘The Legend of Boggy Creek,’ and I look forward to making Bigfoot scary again.”

Robin Cowie, Gregg Hale and Andy Jenkins of Haxan and Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky of Amber are producing.

Weta Workshop and Spectral Motion are collaborating with the production team on the design and build of the monster, to be portrayed by Brian Steele (“Hellboy,” “Predators,” the “Underworld” trilogy). The film will be shot outside Austin, Texas, at Spiderwood Studios, and casting will begin in August with a focus on unknown actors.

Haxan and Amber are in post on “The Possession,” also directed by Sanchez, as the first film in the multipic pact formed by Haxan and Amber last year.Indie horror sensation “The Blair Witch Project” took in more than $140 million domestically in 1999 thanks to a variety of viral marketing campaigns. The film grossed $250 million worldwide.

Amber recently signed a partnership with Gerald Browne, one of the most prolific authors of the ’80s and ’90s, to develop three of his heist novels: “19 Purchase Street,” “West 47th” and “Stone 588.” Amber’s Ileen Maisel and Lawrence Elman are teamed with Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”) to produce Carlo Carlei’s “Romeo and Juliet,” with Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld in the leads.

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