Blair Butler (The Invitation, Polaroid, Hell Fest) will write Occupant, a haunted house movie produced by Barbarian’s Zach Cregger
Earlier this year, it was announced that New Line Cinema had come out the winner in a bidding war over the haunted house project Occupant, which would be based on a 39-page short story by new writer Victor Sweetser. Now that the writers strike has come to an end, The Hollywood Reporter has discovered that New Line Cinema and producer Zach Cregger, the writer/director of last year’s Barbarian (watch it HERE), have found the writer who will flesh Sweetser’s story out into a screenplay: Blair Butler, a former writer and on-air personality for shows like Attack of the Show who has gone on to work on several genre films. Her previous writing credits include The Invitation (the vampire movie that starred Nathalie Emmanuel), Polaroid, and Hell Fest. Butler was also a producer on the Marvel-inspired TV series Helstrom.
The Occupant purchase was part of Cregger’s year-long winning streak. Made on a budget of $4.5 million, Barbarian earned more than $40 million at the domestic box office when it was released by 20th Century Studios last year – a big enough success story that New Line Cinema forked over $38 million to pick up Cregger’s mysterious new horror project, Weapons. (Beating out Jordan Peele and Universal in the bidding war.) New Line then signed a first look deal with BoulderLight Pictures, the production company behind Barbarian. And as part of this deal, they put a sci-fi thriller called Companion on the fast track to production, with Cregger producing alongside BoulderLight and Vertigo’s Roy Lee.
Cregger is producing Occupant with Roy Lee and Scott Glassgold, who originated and developed the project. The set-up is described as a reverse haunted house story. Instead of a family moving into an abode, here a historical house is moved for preservation purposes into a neighborhood. Scares ensue.
Occupant sounds interesting to me, and I have enjoyed Butler’s previous genre films to varying degrees, so I look forward to seeing how this one is going to turn out.
Are you interested in Occupant? What do you think of Blair Butler being hired to write the script? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/occupant-writer/