Horror multihyphenate James Wan has signed an eight-picture deal with Icon Entertainment Intl.
Wan will produce two films a 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 attached to direct.
Max La Bella wrote the screenplay, and Wan and Lee Clay will produce. Wan declined to reveal details of the pic’s plot.
Wan told Variety that with an an abundance of good ideas, he knew he wouldn’t be able to direct all of them. So producing them with 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 the pact with IEI aims to deliver more along those lines.
“The idea is to produce small, scary, low-budget pics that I enjoy making,” Wan says. “I don’t see myself coming up with any romantic-dramedy ideas right now.”
While the deal is set for him to produce and develop 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. — Justin Kroll