David Katzenberg to make feature helming debut

Warner Bros. is entrusting its recently acquired spec “The Waiting” to KatzSmith Prods. partners Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg, the latter of whom will make his feature directorial debut with the teen thriller.

First-time scribes Mark Bianculli and Jeff Richard wrote the script, which WB preemptively acquired back in February.

Story follows two young filmmakers who decide to create the illusion of a haunting on an unsuspecting neighbor. Pic will employ a combination of traditional narrative and found footage.

Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg will produce through KatzSmith along with Anonymous Content’s Rosalie Swedlin and Elana Barry, who rep the writers, both of whom are former assistants at Industry Entertainment.

Sarah Schechter and Chantal Nong will oversee the project for WB.

As KatzSmith continues to develop a sequel to Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice,” the company is currently meeting with writers for Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Maggie Stiefvater’s bestselling novel “The Scorpio Races.”

Grahame-Smith has a busy few months ahead of him, with his new novel, “Unholy Night,” hitting shelves in April, a month before Warners releases Burton’s “Dark Shadows,” which Grahame-Smith wrote. Scribe also adapted his own novel “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” and 20th Century Fox opens the film June 22.

Katzenberg previously directed episodes of “The Hard Times of RJ Berger” and “Awkward” for MTV.

The KatzSmith duo are repped by WME.

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