Helmer returns to low-budget haunted-house genre
James Wan’s haunted house isn’t broken, so why fix it?The 34-year-old Malaysian helmer, who steered “Insidious,” budgeted at $1.5 million, to more than $75 million worldwide for FilmDistrict, is in final negotiations to direct “The Conjuring” for New Line. The pitch is inspired by the true-life story of the Perron family, who claimed they “lived among the dead” in the 1970s as spirits both friendly and sinister inhabited their Rhode Island farmhouse. “Insidious,” which came out in April, focused on a family coping with evil spirits who threatened their young boy. Peter Safran and Tony DeRosa-Grund will produce “Conjuring” through the Safran Co., which is currently in post on “ATM” and is in pre-production on “Vehicle 19,” starring Paul Walker. New Line had no comment on Wan’s attachment, and no production start date has been set yet. Summit had originally eyed the project, but after talks fell through to purchase the pitch, New Line stepped in and optioned it. Wan is repped by Paradigm and Stacey Testro Intl.