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WIRE Buzz: Screen Gems launches Horror Lab, Y/A zombie epic Rot & Ruin headed for screen

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Apr 9, 2019

Horror is everywhere these days, it seems, and we're going to lead off this roundup with an especially intriguing project in the genre.

Sony Pictures subsidiary Screen Gems is launching a new initiative called Horror Lab in conjunction with a management and production company called Ground Control. According to Deadline, the goal of the enterprise is to find and cultivate emerging horror filmmakers by producing short horror films that can then be developed into original features.

Ground Control has been behind the proof-of-concept idea for a while now, developing and producing the acclaimed sci-fi film Prospect and another recent space saga titled The Beyond.

Screen Gems, meanwhile, has essentially operated as Sony's specialty horror house, offering up action/horror hybrids like the Resident Evil series, Underworld and Priest, adaptations such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, remakes of Carrie and The Stepfather, and originals like Don't Breathe and the upcoming Brightburn.

Will Horror Lab produce the next Ari Aster (Hereditary) or Jennifer Kent (The Babadook)? Watch this space.


 

Young adult sci-fi and horror movies may be in a sort of limbo right now, but that's nothing a few zombies apparently can't fix. Deadline reports that Alcon Entertainment has secured the film and TV rights to all five books in the Rot & Ruin series, a young adult zombie apocalypse saga from best-selling novelist Jonathan Maberry that's published through Simon & Schuster.

The series follows a 15-year-old named Benny Imura who has to find his way through a post-apocalyptic United States that has been overrun with the reanimated dead. In a world where you have to work for food, Benny joins his brother Tom as an apprentice zombie hunter, only to find out that there may be worse monsters around than the ghouls they hunt.

It kind of sounds like a variation on The Walking Dead, but Alcon Entertainment co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove insist, per Deadline, "Maberry has crafted a gripping, fast-paced universe with a distinctive balance of YA and broad appeal that we are eager and excited to explore."

Alcon plans to develop the first book in the series, with the option to tap the rest if all goes well.


 

Camila Cabelo

Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

It's only been four years since Disney produced a live-action version of Cinderella, but there's a new take on the classic fairy tale on the way already.

Columbia Pictures has fast-tracked a new Cinderella featuring Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Camila Cabello ("Havana"), who will not only star in her first feature-film role but will be involved in creating music for the project as well.

The movie is actually based on an original idea from late-night host James Corden, according to the The Hollywood Reporter, and is described as "a modern reimagining" of the oft-told tale of the orphaned young lady, her wicked stepmother, and a persistent prince.

Kay Cannon (Blockers) will direct the movie, which Sony is moving to the front of the line in the production pipeline.

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