Paramount Pictures has signed a first-look producing deal with Platinum Dunes, the genre division run by Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form with one of the first films planned under the deal to be The Butcherhouse Chronicles, a thriller that is being scripted by Stephen Susco (The Grudge) and is being likened to The Breakfast Club in a haunted house. Formed in 2001, Platinum Dunes has produced eight films, with the latest, a reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street, in post-production. The hits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which cost under $10 million and grossed $80 million domestic, Friday the 13th, which cost under $20 million and grossed more than $65 million domestic, and The Amityville Horror.
While Bay is well established at the studio on the high end with the “Transformers” franchise, Platinum Dunes puts him and his partners in position to be the go-to guys for low-budget fright fare.
“We offer a valuable service to the studio, especially with all this turmoil going on in the business right now, in that we do things cheaply, and we’ve had a lot of success with it,” Bay told Daily Variety. “Through the first two ‘Transformers’ films, I’ve gotten to know the studio very well, and I’ve got a good rhythm with them. I’m excited about this.”
The pact marks the first term deal given by Adam Goodman since he became president of the Paramount Pictures Film Group.
“What makes us so excited to have Platinum Dunes here at Paramount is how Michael, Brad and Andrew carved out an important niche for themselves over the past few years,” Goodman said. “They have consistently created excitingly commercial movies that have proven to be a formidable force at the box office. We look forward to a long and productive partnership with them.”
The Paramount relationship gets under way with “The Butcherhouse Chronicles,” a thriller that is being scripted by Stephen Susco (“The Grudge”) and is being likened to “The Breakfast Club” in a haunted house. The producers have also come aboard the Paramount project “Property of the State,” a Howard Franklin-scripted thriller about a young white-collar criminal whose attempt to straighten out his life is imperiled by an obsessive and menacing parole officer.
Fuller said while Platinum Dunes has made its bones in genre, the producers want to branch into action and thriller films under the new deal.
“The key is making them at a low budget,” Fuller said.