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Wright to helm Rogue’s slasher thriller ‘Cherry’

October to finance, distrib pic worldwide

Aussie helmer Geoffrey Wright has signed to direct the slasher thriller “Cherry Falls” for Rogue Pictures, the genre division of October Films.

The pic, which October will finance and distribute worldwide, is about a quiet all-American town rocked by a series of depraved killings at its high school, Cherry Falls.

There is no cast yet for the pic, which was written by Ken Selden. The Fresh Produce Co.’s Marshall Persinger and Selden’s wife, Industry Entertainment’s Eli Selden, will produce. Eli Selden brought the script to Wright.

Industry’s Julia Yorn and Fresh Produce’s Joyce Schweickert will exec produce. Wright and the producers are location scouting for an early 1999 start.

October execs and Wright were keen to stress that “Cherry” won’t be just another mundane entry in an increasingly overcrowded genre market.

“This will be a multifaceted film,” Wright said. “It’ll be generic, but it’ll have some thematic resonance and a more intelligent script. We’re going to go for enormous tension and eye-opening action, but also plenty of droll, and ironic humor.”

The helmer’s first three pics, “Lover Boy,” action drama “Romper Stomper,” starring Russell Crowe, and romance “Metal Skin,” earned him his ticket to Hollywood, where he has since joined and departed a number of projects, including MGM’s “Supernova” and Fox’s “Silver Surfer.” “Cherry Falls” will mark his first feature for a U.S. company.

“Geoffrey has demonstrated real talent in taking edgy material and making it thrilling,” said October Films’ co-president Scott Greenstein in a prepared statement.

Wright denied that taking the genre route with Rogue meant he was no longer interested in directing big studio projects. He remains attached to Universal Pictures’ sci-fi thriller “The Sparrow,” which Industry is also producing. Universal owns 51% of October.

October previously released Fresh Produce’s romantic comedy “Still Breathing,” starring Brendan Fraser, in the U.S.

Rogue, headed by VPs Matt Wall and Patrick Gunn, was formed earlier this year. Thus far it has backed Beacon Pictures’ “G’s Trippin'” and Trey Parker’s “Orgazmo,” which October releases this week.

Wright is repped by William Morris Agency’s Spencer Baumgarten, and managed by Industry’s Stephanie Davis.

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