Short helmer Clark Baker directing; 'Grudge' scribe Susco to write

Paramount has acquired Clark Baker’s sci-fi/horror short film “Vessel” and tapped genre scribe Stephen Susco (“The Grudge”) to write and produce the feature version, which will be directed by Baker.

Paramount had no comment.

Described as being in the vein of “Alien,” “The Thing” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” the short film “Vessel” blended practical creature effects with modern VFX to tell the story of a group of airplane passengers who encounter an otherwordly force shortly after takeoff and are thrown into a fight for their lives.

The short, which Baker funded via Kickstarter, was written by the helmer’s fellow Chapman University grads Matt and Ross Duffer, who wrote and directed WB’s upcoming thriller “Hidden” starring Alexander Skarsgard and Andrea Riseborough.

“Vessel” was favorably reviewed earlier this year by influential websites such as Ain’t It Cool News, SlashFilm, Shock Till You Drop, Film School Rejects and Film Threat.

Susco worked with Baker to develop the take for the feature adaptation. In addition to the two “Grudge” movies, Susco wrote Lionsgate’s upcoming “Texas Chainsaw 3D” and he recently co-produced Lionsgate’s hit horror pic “The Possession.” He’s repped by Verve and attorney Alan Hergott.

Baker has produced several TV shows for Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s Absolutely Prods., including “The Eric Andre Show,” “Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule” and “Jon Benjamin Has a Van.” He also produced the sci-fi web series “The 117″ for Justin Lin’s YouTube channel YOMYOMF. He’s repped by Nick Fariabi and Jesse Silver of Mindframe Films as well as APA and attorney Lawrence Kopeikin.

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