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Development: J.J. Abrams loading up on new movies; Blumhouse bringing the horror to Amazon

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Nov 14, 2018

As if Star Wars, Overlord, and Westworld aren’t enough, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company is about to get a whole lot busier, thanks to the reported addition of six new movie projects from up-and-coming filmmakers. 

Via Variety, Abrams’ creative juggernaut has picked up a slate of intriguing-sounding stories that, as you might expect, lean heavily into the horror and sci-fi genres. Details on each movie are light, but at least four of the announced six films sound scary, spacy, or both.

Here’s what we know from the report about the new genre titles Bad Robot has in the pipeline:

  • The Steps, reportedly “a twist on the possession genre” from writer Blair Butler (Hell Fest), working off an original idea from 10 Cloverfield Lane and Star Wars: Episode IX editor Stefan Grube.
  • Only the Lonely, a sci-fi romance written by Peter Glanz (The Longest Week) and co-directed by Grube and Dylan Meyer (XOXO).
  • A yet-untitled, “female-driven horror allegory” written and directed by The Good Place writer and producer Megan Amram.
  • A still-unnamed time travel movie written by Ben Shiffrin (Estranged).

Bad Robot also has a hip-hop-flavored comedy called Everything Must Go in development from musician Logic, as well as The Seven Sisters Of Scott County, set in the days of the illegal moonshine trade.

Deadline notes the announced projects come just ahead of Abrams’ potential hunt for a new studio home for Bad Robot’s movies, as its present overall deal with Paramount is coming to an end.


Horror is set to find an expanded place among Amazon’s original features, thanks to a reported agreement with Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Television that will develop eight new feature-length movies just for the streaming giant.

Variety reports that Amazon’s deal with Blumhouse, who’s smack in the middle of a horror hit parade with last year’s Get Out and this year’s Halloween, marks the studio’s first overall deal for “feature-length productions that will be exclusive to the Amazon streaming platform worldwide,” adding that the movies are being pitched as “‘elevated’ thrillers or stories with dark themes.”

There’s no early info on movie titles, creative team-ups, or the premiere date for the first film in this lengthy string of scary-sounding features, but Blumhouse reportedly plans to bring a diverse slate of talent to the development process. Eight Blumhouse movies means a lot of thrills and chills in store if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, so get that popcorn ready.


Finally, a documentary on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the popular young adult books that’ve also spawned an upcoming Guillermo del Toro-produced film, is in the works to launch alongside del Toro’s movie next year.

Deadline reports that the documentary on author Alvin Schwartz’ series will be directed by Cody Meirick and timed for a worldwide release to support the feature film. The grassroots documentary is reportedly crowd-funded, in part, and includes dozens of interviews with fans, Schwartz family members, and horror writers like R.L. Stine and Q.L. Pearce.


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