December 20, 2007
In this morning's Variety: "After helming three 'Spider-Man' films, Sam Raimi will return to his genre roots to direct 'Drag Me to Hell,' a supernatural thriller he wrote with his brother, Ivan Raimi.
"The morality tale about the unwitting recipient of a supernatural curse will go into production early next year. It will be financed through Ghost House, a joint venture Raimi and Rob Tapert formed several years ago with Mandate Pictures.
"Raimi and Tapert will produce with Grant Curtis, and Josh Donen will exec produce with Mandate's Nathan Kahane and Joe Drake.
"Tapert said the Raimis penned the script well before the formation of Ghost House. It was originally written under the title 'The Curse' and completed right after the siblings collaborated on 1992's 'Army of Darkness,' which Sam Raimi directed.
"'Sam calls it a 'spook-a-blast,' a wild ride with all the chills and spills that 'Evil Dead' delivered, without relying on the excessive violence of that film,' Tapert said. 'When one has done three very expensive movies, they get used to eating caviar. Sam will have to ponder what it means to come down from the mountaintop for a moment.' ... Ghost House is prepping a remake of 'Evil Dead,' the 1981 horror film that was Raimi's first breakout hit as a director.
"After 'Drag Me to Hell,' Raimi is expected to go right back up the mountaintop and take the helm of 'The Hobbit' films for New Line and MGM now that Peter Jackson has made it clear he won't direct.
"'The appeal to Sam on 'Drag Me to Hell' was returning to what he had once done and loved doing, which was entertaining a very specific group of fans and providing a roller coaster ride for them,' Tapert said. 'He doesn't have the enormous pressure here that goes with handling a hundreds of millions of dollars franchise.'"
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