Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli is so over directing he passed on The Conjuring

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Mar 26, 2021, 4:00 PM EDT (Updated)

Oren Peli became a household name among horror fans after his micro-budget Paranormal Activity made nearly $200 million on a $15,000 budget. Since then, Peli has had a lucrative career producing on the rest of the Paranormal Activity franchise, as well as other horror films like the Insidious franchise, The Chernobyl Diaries (which he also wrote), and TV series The River. But besides the poorly received Area 51 in 2015, Peli did not direct again.

Peli was on a recent podcast, Post Mortem with Mick Garris, to talk about Paranormal Activity and his career as a whole. One of the most interesting factoids that came out of the conversation was that Peli was originally offered The Conjuring to direct. He didn't say why he turned down the project but noted "[his] version would have been very different." He doesn't regret the decision, because "James [Wan] did such a fantastic job."

He admits that, after Paranormal Activity, he just wanted to "cash out," but he kept getting sucked into producing more projects. "And then I thought, ‘Yeah, I could find something to direct.’ I got sent a lot of scripts," Peli admits. He was close on a couple, including Eliza Graves, which he really loved, but it became a legal mess and fell through. Another project he loved was a "time-travel found-footage" film that was set up at Warner Bros. That, too, fell through. 

Ultimately, when his girlfriend got pregnant, Peli took that as a cue to get out of the business and focus on being a full-time dad. He did say that he would consider returning to directing if he can do it on his own: fund it himself, without studio interference. But right now, he seems to be happy just being a dad.

(Via Bloody Disgusting)