‘Chainsaw’ preps 2nd slice

Turner to write script; Bay, Fleiss, Form, Fuller to produce

Surviving a fevered rights battle with Dimension Films, New Line and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes will make a prequel to their remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

After staving off a Dimension bid for the project that wound up costing New Line an extra $3 million to keep the franchise in its fold, the studio has set “The Longest Yard” scribe Sheldon Turner to write the script. Bay, Mike Fleiss, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are producing.

Turner just completed a polish of Scott Kosar’s script for a remake of “The Amityville Horror” at MGM and Dimension. That pic is being produced by Platinum Dunes, and Turner’s work, plus his idea for the prequel, led Bay’s company to move toward a second film.

Before New Line could pull the ripcord on its “Chainsaw” prequel, though, the studio first had to stave off the efforts of Dimension Films.

Rival studio, which now has Platinum Dunes trio Bay, Form and Fuller in a first-look deal, tried to sever New Line’s hold over “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” by making a pricey new deal with original rights holders Tobe Hooper, Kim Henkel and Robert Kuhn. Hooper directed the first film and wrote it with Henkel. Kuhn is a Texas-based attorney.

New Line had to pay $3 million more than it expected to in order to keep the franchise in the studio fold.

A loophole existed because of an original remake deal granting only licensing rights for a single film. That original deal, for less than $1 million, led to a $9 million film that grossed $81 million.

The original rights holders shopped for a better deal and got one when New Line agreed to match the bid.

Given the profit generated by the first film, however, New Line brass are hardly crying.

The drama revolves around a group of sibling soldiers who cross paths with chainsaw-wielding lead character.

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