One of the prerogatives of being a blockbuster director/producer is that you can shepherd new talent, as Lord of the Rings' Peter Jackson nurtured South African director Neill Blomkamp and his hit sci-fi action drama District 9 this summer.
Spider-Man's Sam Raimi is now taking a similar route by sponsoring a newbie British director named Corin Hardy and producing his proposed supernatural horror movie Refuge, about a remote town terrorized by a Yeti, the mythological creature native to the mountains of the Himalayas. (That's "abominable snowman" to you.)
It's a good fit for Raimi, who cut his own teeth on horror with the Evil Dead movies and showed that he still has a knack for it with this year's underappreciated Drag Me to Hell.
Here's how The Hollywood Reporter describes Refuge:
Hardy will direct from a script by fellow British writer Tom De Ville; both are repped by Paradigm's Marc Helwig and Trevor Astbury.
Jason Blum, Nathan Kahane and Steven Schneider will produce.
Meanwhile, Blum's Blumhouse Prods. will finance a short film with the same premise as the Refuge feature. Hardy and De Ville will work on that as well. The idea is to offer a teaser that can help Hardy refine his vision even as the script is being developed.
Fans of District 9 recall that Blomkamp's movie was also based on a short film, called Alive in Joburg, and that Jackson helped Blomkamp put together a presentation reel and book to shop the movie around to studios while the feature film was being developed.
Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro is also doing the same thing, mentoring a slew of new directors, such as The Orphanage's Juan Antonio Bayona.
Raimi himself will next direct Spider-Man 4 as well as an adaptation of the video game World of Warcraft.