BJ McDonnell, cameraman on 'Hatchet' pics, tapped to direct 'Hatchet 3'

After serving as a cameraman on Adam Green’s “Hatchet” and its sequel, BJ McDonnell has been tapped to direct “Hatchet 3.”

McDonnell will make his directorial debut with the horror pic, a co-production of ArieScope Pictures and Dark Sky Films, a subsidiary of the MPI Media Group.

Green, who wrote and directed the first two films in the slasher series, will work closely with McDonnell on all aspects of production.

“Hatchet 3″ will pick up where the last film left off, as a young woman sought revenge on the monster that killed her family while they were fishing in Louisiana swamp country. “Hatchet II” made headlines last fall when it became the first unrated indie horror film to be exhibited by a major chain (AMC Theaters) in more than 25 years.

Over the last decade, McDonnell has been the camera operator on major Hollywood films such as “Battle Los Angeles,” “The Darkest Hour” and Rob Zombie’s “Halloween.” He’s currently in Pittsburg shooting Paramount’s Tom Cruise-starrer “One Shot.”

“I grew up watching horror films and like Adam Green, I’m a true genre fan at heart,” McDonnell said. “I have been waiting for an opportunity like this to step up and make my directorial debut with something I love and know inside and out.”

“BJ was not only the camera operator on the first two ‘Hatchet’ movies. He was there alongside me creating every shot, working closely with me to craft each scene, moment, outrageous kill, and performance,” said Green. “He is absolutely beloved by the entire Hatchet family and his experience on everything from huge studio films to smaller independent productions will ensure that he will do the franchise proud.”

In addition to the “Hatchet” films, ArieScope’s other movies include “Frozen,” “Spiral” and “Grace,” while MPI/Dark Sky Films has produced and distributed genre titles such as “The House of the Devil,” “Stake Land” and “The Innkeepers.”

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