Guillermo del Toro keeps collecting paycheck after paycheck slapping his name on yet another project. Deadline reports that del Toro’s Necropia Entertainment and Angryfilms’ Susan Montford and Don Murphy are teaming to option The Bloody Benders, a spec script by Adam Robitel. The scribe, a protege of Bryan Singer, based his script on the true story of the Benders, a husband, wife, son and daughter who ran a hotel in Kansas on the outskirts of the prairie in 1873. It might have been a precursor for the Bates Motel: As many as 20 guests checked in, and never checked out. The guests were robbed and murdered by their hosts, and the killers were never punished. Del Toro will not direct. “It is a beautiful and brutal yet poetic story, based on a very famous case, del Toro explained to the site. “If you consider America back then, it was a great transition to modernity, but on the prairie, these were huge landscapes where people traveled and days and weeks on end would pass without communication. So nothing happens, then there is this brutal murder, and then it’s back to pastoral peace and quiet. That rhythm was very attractive to me.” Murphy called the script “the perfect mixture of genres — Western, horror, thriller and love story,” while del Toro added, “It feels like ‘Prometheus’ is a very similar proposition to our film.”
Dominic Monaghan (“Lost”) has been cast as the narrator of Crackle‘s original horror-thriller anthology series “The Unknown,” which launches later this year on the Sony TV-owned multiplatform network, says the same site. Monaghan will play a blogger who chronicles the unexplained phenomenon that occurs in each of the six half-hour episodes. Frances Fisher, William Atherton, Taryn Manning, Jay Ferguson, and Christina Pickles have signed on for the stand-alone episodes so far.
Mike Flanagan (Absentia) has come on board to direct Intrepid Pictures’ horror project Oculus from a script he co-wrote with Jeff Howard, says Variety. Production is set for a late summer start. “Story centers on a murder that left two children orphans with authorities charging the brother while his sister believed that the true culprit was a haunted antique mirror. Now completely rehabilitated and in his twenties, the brother is ready to move on but his sister is determined to prove that the haunted mirror was responsible for destroying their family.”
Lastly, if you click over to Deadline you can read all about a lawsuit that pits Universal Pictures against Asylum for their forthcoming American Battleship that ruffs Uni’s Battleship. The suit claims against the “straight-to-DVD knock-off that features substantially similar artwork, packaging, release dates, and film trailers as Universal’s motion picture.” While we’re all protected in “spoofing”/making fun of a project, I’m not quite sure you can make your own version of a movie that’s deadpan serious. I guess the courts will battle this one out – and you can pretty much bet that if Asylum loses, there will be plenty more lawsuits from other majors.