Cornerstone Films and German production company X Filme are teaming up with producer Joel Michaels on a remake of Michaels’ 1980 supernatural horror “The Changeling,” Cornerstone announced Wednesday in Cannes.
The film marks the first joint film production under the partnership between German’s Beta Cinema and Cornerstone, which was announced in February when Beta bought a minority stake in the London and L.A. based international sales company. The two company’s are partnering to produce, finance, distribute and sell distinctive, commercially driven English-language features for contemporary audiences. Beta acquired a strategic stake in X Filme in February last year. Cornerstone was set up in April 2015 by Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder (pictured).
Mark Steven Johnson will write and direct the update of “The Changeling,” which follows a musician who returns to his childhood home following the death of his young daughter where, after a series of terrifying events, he begins to unlock the mystery of the dead child that haunts the home along with an unimaginable family secret. The new version will relocate the setting to Venice, Italy.
It marks the first film on which Johnson has served as both writer and director since 2007’s “Ghost Rider.” He has more recently directed Kristen Bell romcom “When in Rome” and Robert De Niro-John Travolta thriller “Killing Season,” as well as the upcoming “Finding Steve McQueen.”
Michaels produced the original version of “The Changeling,” which starred George C. Scott and Melvyn Douglas and was directed by Peter Medak. He is currently producing Bart Freundlich’s English-language remake of “After the Wedding,” starring Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and Billy Crudup, which is also produced by Cornerstone.
“It is a rare if not unique privilege to be able to remake ‘The Changeling,’ a film that I developed and produced many years ago,” said Michaels. “I loved the bones of the story then, and with today’s technology it allows us to reset the stage for an even more exciting interpretation by relocating the film to Italy where the mood and ambience of Venice will virtually be an added mysterious character in the film.”
X Filme’s Uwe Schott and Stefan Arndt will produce alongside Michaels with Thompson and Gooder serving as executive producers.