×

Disney pours a ‘Bloody Mary’

Pic based on Miami homeless article

HOLLYWOOD — Disney has poured itself a “Bloody Mary” from producer Clive Barker and scribe Silvio Horta.

Pitch, valued at mid-six against high-six figures, is based on former Miami New Times staff reporter Lynda Edwards’ feature “Myths Over Miami.” Her 8,000-word piece on the folkloric horror stories told and retold in the homeless shelters of South Florida caught the attention of Barker, who with Horta pitched Disney on the idea.

Pitch focuses on one myth in particular, a bogeyman figure called Bloody Mary who resides in the Everglades and steals children in the night.

Storyline of the psychological thriller centers on a young man forced to do community service at a homeless shelter in Miami. There he befriends a group of children whose visions of demons seeping up from hell may or may not be real.

“Fantasy works best when it’s working on a lot of levels, (when) something has you really wondering, ‘Is it real, or isn’t it?” said Barker, reached in New York. “These homeless kids are living in a world that’s on that borderline, because they are living through the reality of social evils and abuse. What I wanted to do was to use the conventions of urban myth to express our anxieties about the real world.”

Barker, who made a name for himself writing suspenseful but often quite violent motion picture horror franchises like “Hellraiser” and “Candyman” is quick to distance “Bloody Mary” from those gorier offspring.

“This is not going to be a ‘Hellraiser’ or a ‘Candyman,'” stressed Barker, “As a 48-year-old man, I just don’t make those kinds of pictures anymore. That sort of in-your-face gore is a young man’s game.”

Asked if that change of heart had anything to do with the current hostility towards the Hollywood creative community embodied in the latest FTC report on movie marketing, Barker responded:

“We’re not responding to the pressure coming out of Washington. This is going to be suspenseful and scary, but it’s an aesthetic decision that it not be violent and gory.”

Development of the project will by supervised by Mark Vahradian, exec veepee of the Buena Vista Motion Picture Group and creative exec Michael Haynes. Pic will be exec produced by Joe Daley and Renee Rosen at Barker’s Seraphim Films.

Horta, who penned Phoenix Pictures’ “Urban Legend,” also has his sci-fi laffer skein “News From the Edge,” set up at the Peacock web, where it is skedded as a mid-season replacement series.

Barker was repped in the deal by ICM’s Ben Smith; Horta was co-repped in the deal by ICM’s Smith and Patty Detroit, and is managed by Gina Mathews at Roundtable Ink. Rights to Edwards article’s were repped by ICM’s Jeanne Williams.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Minyan

    'Minyan': Film Review

    Best known for the unexpectedly soul-shattering San Francisco suicide doc “The Bridge,” indie filmmaker Eric Steel came out and came of age in 1980s New York at a moment just before AIDS devastated the city’s gay community. Such timing must have been surreal, to assume something so liberating about one’s own identity, only to watch [...]

  • Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches

    Film New Roundup: Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches North American Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Queen’s Corgi” finds a home, the Overlook Film Festival is postponed and the California Film Commission adjusts its tax credit rules due to the coronavirus. ACQUISITION Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the animated family comedy feature “The Queen’s Corgi,” and plans to make it available on DVD and to [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Sets Salary Cuts and Furloughs in Wake of Covid-19 Pandemic

    Following in the steps of several agencies dealing with the coronavirus, APA has informed all offices of upcoming salary cuts along with possible suspensions and furloughs for employees due to the pandemic’s economic effect on the industry. APA board of directors will make the largest financial sacrifice. The move has been made to avoid layoffs [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA Scramble to Keep Residuals Flowing During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Hollywood’s creative guilds have been working overtime to keep residual checks going out to members during the coronavirus crisis. Even though most of the staff members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America West have been working remotely, the guilds have stepped up efforts to maintain the flow of [...]

  • Hannah Marks, Dylan Sprouse. Hannah Marks,

    How a Bart Simpson T-Shirt Delayed Dylan Sprouse’s Movie ‘Banana Split’

    Long before the release of “Booksmart,” actress Hannah Marks set out to make a movie that would be the female bookend to “Superbad.” She started writing the script eight years ago, at 18, based on a real-life story about how, in high school, she befriended the girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend. Many drafts followed for “Banana [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds'6 Underground' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Ryan Reynolds in Talks to Star in 'Dragon's Lair' Film Adaptation for Netflix

    Ryan Reynolds is in talks to star in and produce a live-action feature adaptation of the ’80s arcade game “Dragon’s Lair” for Netflix. Roy Lee will produce through his Vertigo Entertainment with Trevor Engelson of Underground Films. Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and Jon Pomeroy are also producing. Reynolds will produce through his Maximum Effort production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content