Nispel digs in for Beacon

Helmer takes on sci-fi thriller, will pitch in on vidgame

Director Marcus Nispel, who most recently helmed horror hit “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” has set up an original pitch, “Subterranean,” with scribe John Jarrell at Disney-based Beacon Pictures.

Pic, developed for Nispel to direct, is set beneath the city of New York and is described as a sci-fi thriller in a similar vein to “Aliens” that centers on what is discovered in a subterranean area and how it could impact mankind.

Nispel, Mimi Polk Gitlin and Richard Gitlin are producing.

Beacon’s Armyan Bernstein and Suzanne Ellis are overseeing pic.

Nispel will also work with Beacon to develop the videogame based upon the film.

Nispel, repped by Endeavor, is currently directing USA Network’s Dean Koontz miniseries “Frankenstein.”

Jarrell recently completed the screenplay for Universal’s “Extortion,” starring Tyrese Gibson for producer Neil Moritz. He also penned the Jet Li thriller “Romeo Must Die.”

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