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‘Saw’ team cues ‘Opera’

Pair returns with 'Repo' project

The folks who cut a swath at the worldwide wickets with their “Saw” franchise are back in Berlin with another project.

Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures are partnering on “Repo! The Genetic Opera,” to be helmed by “Saw II” and “Saw III” director Darren Lynn Bousman. He is reuniting with his collaborators on the horror franchise, the Twisted Pictures team of Mark Burg and Oren Koules.

Futuristic clone-age fantasy is based on an original story by co-composers and screenwriters Terrance Zdunich and Darren Smith.

In the not-so-distant future when an epidemic of organ failures devastates the planet, scientists gear for a massive organ harvest. A biotech giant comes up with easy organ payment plans, but all financed organs are subject to legal default, including repossession at the hands of repo men.

Idea for the feature came to Bousman when he directed the first theater run of “Repo! The Genetic Opera” in 2002. Stage play had several runs in Los Angeles and New York.

Producers are looking to bring the project in for under $25 million.

Wraps come off today at Berlin’s EFM — during a themed cocktail party complete with waitresses in clinicians’ garb.

Lionsgate signed on to distribute after viewing a 12-minute promo reel that Bousman created in half a day — the same scenario that brought the company the first “Saw” feature. Latter ended up grossing $400 million worldwide. The mini-major also will distribute “Repo!” in the U.S.

The worldwide acquisition was brought to the company by Lionsgate prexy of international sales Stephanie Denton and acquisitions toppers Peter Block and Jason Constantine.

Denton emphasized the uniqueness of the project in marrying rock opera elements to the fright genre.

“I couldn’t be in a better position, as Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate have become family: They are not scared to take risks and they stand behind their filmmakers,” Bousman said.

“Saw III,” which was sold at Berlin last year, continues to roll out internationally. The third installment is the most successful in the franchise to date.

Burg and Koules’ Twisted Pictures has a nine-pic deal with Lionsgate.

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