Di Bonaventura Pictures and Caliber Media are partnering to reboot the “Puppet Master” horror franchise.
The companies plan to produce multiple storylines within this new universe and have hired “Bone Tomahawk” writer S. Craig Zahler to pen the first script titled “Puppet Master: The Little Reich.” A search for a director is underway.
The film will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian for di Bonaventura Pictures, alongside Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller for Caliber Media. Charles Band will executive produce.
Di Bonaventura Pictures produced the “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” franchises, along with “1408,” “The Devil Inside” and the upcoming “Deepwater Horizon.” Sonnier and Band announced the “Puppet Master” project on Saturday at the Texas Frightmare Weekend.
“We couldn’t be more excited to take the series in a new direction while embracing all the practical effects and terrifying insanity that fans of the ‘Puppet Master’ films love,” Heller said.
The original franchise focuses on a group of anthropomorphic puppets animated by an Egyptian spell, each equipped with their own unique and dangerous device. Produced by Band and his Full Moon Features label, the series was established in 1989 with the first installment, which has since been followed by nine sequels, comic books, collector’s items and toys.
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“Littlest Reich” follows a recently divorced young man who discovers a mint condition Blade doll in his deceased brother’s closet and plans to sell the toy at a convention in Oregon celebrating the 30th anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose during the auction when a strange force animates all of the puppets throughout the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree.
Zahler’s next film is “Brawl in Cell Block 99,” starring Vince Vaughn and produced by Sonnier and Heller. Zahler is repped by United Talent Agency, Caliber Media and Ziffren Brittenham.