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‘True Blood’s Stephen Moyer takes on Jersey Devil

Thesp boards Bousman's take on the East Coast monster legend

True Blood” star Stephen Moyer is sticking with the genre that made him famous, having signed on to topline Darren Lynn Bousman’s “The Barrens,” which concerns the legend of the Jersey Devil.

Described in the vein of spooky Stephen King tales such as “The Shining,” pic is being produced by The Genre Company and will be released next fall by Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Moyer will play a man who takes his family on a camping trip to the more than 1 million acres of dense forest known as the New Jersey Pine Barrens, where he becomes convinced they’re being stalked by the legendary winged monster that looks like a deformed hybrid of several different animals.

The legend of The Jersey Devil has been passed along for hundreds of years, as the creature has risen from obscurity to take its place alongside the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot and the Chupacabra. The creature is deeply rooted in New Jersey culture; the NHL team takes its name from the creature and Bruce Springsteen put his own spin on the legend in “A Night With The Jersey Devil.”

Bousman told Variety that he wants to take the legend of The Jersey Devil “another step further. I don’t want to turn it into a cheesy creature feature. It’s about the characters for me, and having watched Stephen for years on ‘True Blood,’ I have no doubt he’s the right leading man.”

Bousman wrote the film, which he’s been wanting to make since directing “Saw II.” He’s also producing with Richard Saperstein and Brian Witten of The Genre Company, as well as John Eckert. Shara Kay is co-producing.

Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage Pictures is handling international sales for the film, which starts production later this month in Toronto.

Moyer stars as heroic vampire Bill Compton on HBO’s “True Blood.” Thesp recently appeared in Screen Gems’ vampire pic “Priest” and Image Entertainment’s spy thriller “The Double.”

Bousman is best known for directing three “Saw” sequels and “Repo! The Genetic Opera.” He recently helmed The Genre Company’s remake of “Mother’s Day” and “11-11-11,” which will be released on that date later this year.

Moyer’s repped by UTA, Luber Roklin Entertainment and attorney Dave Feldman, as well as United Agents in London.

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