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Horror news alert: Chris Columbus to direct Five Nights at Freddy's; Amblin to turn 'Larry' short into feature

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Feb 12, 2018, 2:34 PM EST

Horror fans, rejoice. A pair of nightmare-inducing films are set to come to the big screens and make you feel all gross and upset inside. 

First up, Chris Columbus—yes, director of Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire and the first two Harry Potter films—is slated to write, produce and direct Blumhouse’s screen adaptation of Scott Cawthon’s videogame Five Nights at Freddy’s, Deadline is reporting.

Created by Scott Cawthon in 2014, Five Nights at Freddy’s takes place in a Chuck E. Cheese-like kid-friendly pizza place called "Freddy Fazbear's Pizza," where a security guard battles animatronic robots that come to life at night and turn homicidal. 

So, kind of like Night at the Museum (which Columbus also produced) meets your worst nightmares. 

This is not the first attempt to adapt the popular videogame to film. Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg were originally attached to produce, with Vertigo Entertainment set to develop a film version of the game. Gil Kenan, director of the 2015 remake of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist, was slated to direct, with Warner Bros./New Line as the studio behind the adaptation. 

But Blumhouse — the production company typically known for producing low-budget horror films such movies as Paranormal Activity, Insidious and the Oscar-nominated Get Out — won the rights to the video game’s movie rights last March when they were put in turnaround by New Line.

Although many fans may be scratching their heads at Blumhouse’s choice of director, as this may seem like a departure from director Columbus’ typical family-friendly fare, it should be noted that the Nine Months director also wrote the original—and originally far more violent than its final version—script for Joe Dante’s Gremlins. And we seem to forget that his script for Young Sherlock Holmes was filled with intense, nightmarish visions. So, maybe the Goonies scribe may be a good fit for the material. 

Blumhouse announced the news about Columbus’ attachment via Twitter:

Meanwhile, Deadline is also reporting that Amblin Partners has acquired the rights to turn writer-director Jacob Chase’s short horror film, Larry, into a feature film, with Chase set to write and direct. 

The Picture Company partners Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce.

The intense and unnerving five-minute short tells the story of Larry, a monster who comes to life via high-tech devices like smartphones and other screen devices. The feature version will borrow this angle but provide Larry with an origin story where a troubled young boy who creates the monster from his own nightmares. 

Chase shopped the project around based on a treatment he wrote and the short film. Paradigm and The Picture Company were among those who kicked the tires, but Amblin was the one who closed the deal over the weekend.

Deadline reports that the filmmakers hope that Larry follows in the footsteps of Lights Out and Mama, two short films that were adapted into full-length features (that became hits).

Amblin Partners’ Andrew Calof brought the project in and will oversee for the studio. The producers’ deals are being made now.

(Via Deadline)