EXCLUSIVE: As it nears a worldwide gross of $200M, the producers of box office hit Smile are lining up new horror Clown In A Cornfield, which Protagonist is launching worldwide sales on ahead of next week’s AFM in LA.
Producers Temple Hill Entertainment, also known for The Maze Runner franchise, Love, Simon, and the Twilight franchise, have tapped Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil and Little Evil director Eli Craig to helm the YA slasher thriller, which centers on a fading midwestern town, in which Frendo the clown – a symbol of bygone success – reemerges as a terrifying scourge.
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Carter Blanchard is adapting Adam Cesare’s successful novel of the same name. A sequel, Clown in A Cornfield II: Frendo Lives, was published in August this year, and a third instalment is in the works.
Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, who have emerged as forces in the YA market, will produce. Petersen Harris, George Berman, and John Fischer are overseeing the project at Temple Hill. Cast has yet to be set.
Craig’s Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil became a cult success after premiering at Sundance and winning the SXSW Audience Award. He went on to direct dark comedy Little Evil starring Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly for Netflix. He is currently developing comedy-horror Corporate Retreat for Blumhouse and Red Hour.
“We love Eli Craig’s brand of scary fun and are thrilled to be working with him on this terrifying slasher adaptation that is both timely and timeless,” said Temple Hill producers in a joint statement.
“Nostalgia driven, elevated horrors that deliver on the promise of the genre – thrilling action, heart-stopping suspense and deeply satisfying endings – continue to dominate at the global box-office,” said Protagonist CEO Dave Bishop. “Our friends at Temple Hill are masters of taking this critical formula and creating wholly original stories that surprise, delight and gratify audiences and Eli is the perfect visionary to bring this special project to its full potential.”
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