Phoenix Pictures has snapped up Troy Nixey’s family fantasy “Simple Machines” for Nixey to direct after he has finished shooting “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” this summer.

Mike Medavoy, Arnie Messer and Brad Fischer will produce, with Chud.com creator Nick Nunziata co-producing.

Story centers on a reclusive young inventor who must save his beloved creation from an evil industrialist before he uses it to corrupt the world.

Nixey is currently two weeks into a 45-day shoot on Miramax’s “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” in Melbourne. He told Daily Variety that the new project stems from his affection for early movie comedians such as Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd and how they dealt with the world around them.

Deal marks the second collaboration between Phoenix and Nixey.  Phoenix previously acquired Nixey’s graphic novel “Trout,” which Laeta Kalogridis is adapting for the screen.

Phoenix is in post-production on Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, for Paramount and the John Cusack starrer “Shanghai” for the Weinstein Co.