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U hops on horror trend with reality-TV twist

Berg/Saccani pic geared for Halloween 2001 bow

Producers Jon Berg and Damien Saccani have set up an untitled house-of-horror thriller at Universal with the goal of releasing the movie into theaters around Halloween 2001.

Project is the first greenlight given by Universal to the producers since they launched Berg/Saccani Entertainment earlier this year with a first-look deal.

Story concerns a group of people who play solve-the-crime party games at the site of a famous brutal murder until one of the players winds up dead. The search for a killer then continues with very real results.

The producers, who are seeking a writer on the film, see the storyline as spoofing the current wave of reality programming on TV, with elements that can be repeated in sequel projects.

“We see this as a real fun popcorn-type film that can become a franchise for Universal,” Berg and Saccani told Daily Variety. “We’ve seen how New Line, Artisan and Miramax have used horror to establish themselves, so doing something like this has been a real priority for us.”

The duo, who had been development execs at Universal before forming their own shingle, have been focused on setting up reasonably priced projects with young up-and-coming talent. They will produce the film along with Julie Fleck.

Mary Parent and Tim O’Hair will oversee the project for Universal.

Berg and Saccani are represented by attorney Michael Schenkman of Bloom, Hergott, Diemer & Klein.

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