Spooky Pictures, which is the low-budget genre label recently formed by producers Roy Lee (“The Ring”) (who is pictured, right) and Steven Schneider (“Pet Sematary”), and the Abu Dhabi outfit with deep pockets announced that “Watcher,” which involves a serial killer who prompts a citywide panic, is currently being cast in preparation for an April shoot.
In the pic, scripted by Zack Ford, a young woman moves into a new apartment with her fiancé only to be tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by an unseen watcher in an adjacent building, according to promotional materials.
“The Watcher” will be produced by Aaron Kaplan, Sean Perrone, Mason Novick, and John Finemore, in addition to Lee and Schneider. Marc Bienstock, Derek Dauchy, and Stuart Manashil will executive produce. Nancy Nayor is casting.
Okuno is the director of the award-winning AFI short film “Slut,” centered on a naive young girl becoming the target of a murderous sociopath when she attempts to reinvent herself to impress the boys in her small Texas town. She has since been writing the reboot of 1977 supernatural thriller “Audrey Rose” for Orion Pictures and Platinum Dunes.
Image Nation chief content officer Ben Ross in a statement said he was pleased to announce the Emirati production company’s first production under their partnership “with horror film heavyweights Roy Lee and Steven Schneider,” and honored to have Chloe Okuno on board to direct the pact’s first pic.
Ross noted that the pact with Spooky Pictures is a new step in Image Nation’s “continued journey” into the international marketplace. “We are excited to create more dark genre titles with great potential for lucrative franchises,” he noted.
Schneider previously collaborated with Image Nation Abu Dhabi as producer on the Middle East-based company’s dystopian Arab thriller “The Worthy,” directed by Emirati helmer Ali F. Mostafa.
Image Nation has a multi-pronged strategy of calculated risk investments in Hollywood to help finance bold but commercially viable local projects and build a local industry.
Image Nation’s other Hollywood partnerships include longstanding rapports with Parkes MacDonald Productions and Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios.