Lionsgate in talks for ‘Monster’

Francesco Calabrese to direct, Alli Shearmur will produce pic

Staying true to its genre roots, Lionsgate is in negotiations to acquire “Lovely Monster,” a planned feature adaptation of Francesco Calabrese’s well-received horror short, which the Italian helmer will direct from a script by John Scott 3.

Alli Shearmur will produce the pic, which follows a young woman battling a rare and lethal illness that turns her into a monster.

“Lovely Monster” was featured on ShortOfTheWeek.com back in April, and Calabrese’s other credits include the 2008 short “Death By Sexy.”

Scott 3 is no stranger to teenage protagonists undergoing unique transformations, having previously penned the Black List script “Maggie,” an elevated genre tale that follows a teenage girl who slowly becomes a zombie. Henry Hobson is attached to direct for Inferno, while Chloe Moretz and Paddy Considine are circling the two lead roles. Scribe is repped by CAA, Sly Predator and attorney Eric Brooks.

Shearmur will produce “Lovely Monster” through her eponymous banner, which recently hired former Escape Artists exec Chris Coggins. Company is currently developing “Candy Store,” which has several high-profile thesps circling.

Lionsgate has been a long-time distributor of inventive horror pics, including “Saw,” “Hostel” and “The Cabin in the Woods.”