Lionsgate Finds ‘Sanctuary’ in Susco

How this press release over at Variety got butchered this bad is beyond my comprehension, but we went out and got the full announcement so you guys know the full story on Sanctuary, which was adapted by Stephen Susco (The Grudge) from a novel by John Connolly. Read on for details on Lionsgate’s acquisition and a super long synopsis for the film, which Mark Amin and Alison Rosenzweig (Windtalkers) will produce.
Official release below:

Good men may be hard to find, but bad men will be coming to a theater near you. And, if Stephen Susco’s spec script SANCTUARY is any indication, they do some of their best work in the dark.

Lionsgate and Sobini Films purchased the script for Mark Amin and Alison Rosenzweig (WINDTALKERS) to produce. Susco will exec produce, along with Michael Gaeta.

Based on John Connolly’s novel BAD MEN, the script is a supernatural thriller about a woman with a mysterious past who takes refuge on a haunted island off the coast of Maine, known to locals as Sanctuary.

Irish thriller author Connolly published BAD MEN, his fifth novel, in 2003.

Susco adapted the book on spec for producer Rosenzweig, who optioned the Connolly tome out of her development fund. They then set it up with Sobini, and structured a co-financing arrangement with Lionsgate’s Peter Block and Jason Constantine, who will oversee for the studio.

Susco wrote Sony’s THE GRUDGE and the upcoming GRUDGE 2. His script for RED, based on the Jack Ketchum novel, rolls in October with Lucky McKee helming.

“Stephen’s an amazing writer,” Rosenzweig said. “He’s in a class of his own. So it’s been a great thrill working with him. And the creative team at Lionsgate and Sobini really responded to his vision of the movie.”

Lionsgate and Sobini have teamed up on a number of projects, including PEACEFUL WARRIOR, directed by Victor Salva, in June.

Tracy Rice is also attached to produce.


In 1693, the settlers on the small Maine island of Sanctuary were betrayed to their enemies and slaughtered. Since then, the island has known three hundred years of peace.

Until now.

Four men are descending on Sanctuary, their purpose to hunt down and kill the wife of their leader and retrieve the money that she stole from him. All that stands in their way are a young rookie officer, Sharon Macy, and the island’s strange, troubled policeman, the giant known as Melancholy Joe Dupree.

But Joe Dupree is no ordinary policeman. He is the guardian of the island’s secrets, the repository of its memories. He knows that Sanctuary has been steeped in blood once; it will tolerate the shedding of innocent blood no longer. Now a band of killers is set to desecrate Sanctuary and unleash the fury of its ghosts upon themselves and all who stand by them.

On Sanctuary, all hell is about to break loose…