×

Toronto: ‘Oculus’ Director Mike Flanagan Tapped For ‘Somnia’

Horror film to shoot this fall

Oculusdirector Mike Flanagan has re-teamed with Intrepid Pictures to helm horror film “Somnia” with production starting this fall.

Oculus” (pictured above) is centered on a cursed 300-year-old mirror and is world premiering Sunday in the Toronto Film Festival’s Midnight Madness section.

Producers on “Somnia” are Intrepid’s Trevor Macy and  William D. Johnson and Sam Englebardt of Demarest Films, which will produce and co-finance with MICA Entertainment. Mali Elfman exec produces.

Focus Features International is selling “Somnia” at Toronto along with “Oculus,” which was  co-financed by MICA Entertainment,

“Somnia,” written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard, centers on an orphaned child whose dreams and nightmare manifest physically as he sleeps. Flanagan and Howard also co-wrote “Oculus.”

“It’s been crazy to get selected in that I have never attended,” said Flanagan.

“Oculus” centers on a brother and sister (Brendan Thwaits and Karent Gillan) finding the cause of their parents’ deaths — a mirror which has caused destruction in over its 300-year history.

“It’s all based on a short film I made on my laptop in 2005 for $1,000,” Flanagan recalls. “Next thing I know, I’m directing a real movie.”

“Oculus” was shot in Mobile, Ala., last October for 25 days.  FilmDistrict acquired U.S. distribution rights at Cannes last year but has backed away from that pact recently due to a proviso calling for a wide release. So the project’s U.S. rights are up for sale again through Paradigm.

Flanagan had originally planned to shoot nine 20-minute Oculus movies.

“They’re still on my laptop,” he added. “We were thinking that we were going to be like George Lucas. It was kind of like a portable Overlook Hotel because it’s based on how characters perceive what they see in the mirror, it can be a sort of customized haunting.”

Flanagan and Howard are represented by APA, Affirmative Entertainment and Nelson Davis Wetzstein.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content