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EXCL: Amityville Tapes Writer on New Project

Addresses Hybrid, Thirteen Ghosts sequel

The writer behind Thirteen Ghosts is immersing himself once again in the world of the supernatural. This week it was announced Neal Marshall Stevens will write Amityville Tapes, the latest installment in the film franchise revolving that sinister abode at 112 Ocean Avenue. MGM has him so tight-lipped about the project he can’t even reveal the producers on board. Still, when ShockTillYouDrop.com gets on the phone with Stevens to talk about his latest endeavors there’s plenty more discuss, namely Hybridnot the creature feature in development but the horror film starring Oded Fehr (Resident Evil: Extinction) and directed by Eric Valette (One Missed Call).

Once known as Hunter, production got underway on Hybrid last year in Regina, Saskatchewan. A promo trailer found its way onto the web earlier this month.

“A number of years ago I had worked for Laurel Entertainment who had produced Tales from the Darkside and Monsters,” Stevens begins, detailing the film’s origins. “They were closed down and I was out of business. Right around that time, the new version of The Outer Limits had shown up. I figured I would try pitching some ideas to them. They didn’t buy anything I pitched them. But of the ideas that I pitched to them, there were a few I thought were good enough to develop as feature screenplays. One of them was called The Slow Man which was about a woman psychologist who discovers this apparently comatose man in an insane asylum. He turns out not to be comatose but he’s actually living 100 times slower than normal and has been bounced around asylums since the times of the Civil War.”

Stevens sold The Slow Man to 20th Century Fox then turned his attention to Hybrid which would focus on a creature that had perfected the art of camouflage. “It wasn’t intelligent, it was like a predator, a tiger,” he explains. “It functioned by disguising itself and as it moved through history, it disguised itself through different things. And now in the modern age it can disguise itself as cars. How it would feed is disguise itself as a nondescript car no one would notice during the day and at night it would change, where no one would notice, into a really cool wealthy-looking car. It would leave its doors unlocked, wait for someone to try and climb in to steal it. Then it would lock its doors, block out its windows and flood the inside with digestive juices – and that’s how it would feed.”

And that’s just the engine of the story, the framework concerns a group of folks who discover this animal’s identity when “it’s driving along the street, another car runs into it and it’s knocked unconscious. It’s hauled to this police garage in the middle of the night and the people at the garage find themselves trapped with this thing as it wakes up and finds itself locked in and wants out.” Studio 407‘s Alex Leung (interview) shopped the script around town before it finally found a home and was offered financing. Voltage Pictures currently owns the international rights and distribution plans are pending.

“It’s looking pretty good,” Stevens reports. “They sent me a rough cut of the film and asked for my notes which was quite unusual. I sent them my comments and that was really appreciated. It’s shaping up to be a cool, lean thriller which is how I always pictured it.”

Next up is Amityville Tapes and a number of comic book titles for Studio 407 which you can read about later this week. Wrapping up our chat about his film efforts, we ask if, at any time, he was contacted to draft a Thirteen Ghosts sequel for Dark Castle. Stevens tells us, “They have not [approached me], I think a follow-up would be a cool idea, but who knows? Maybe we’ll come up with one.”

Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor