Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs and ZQ Entertainment partner with POW! Entertainment to bring Stan Lee’s Horror Universe to the Screen.
The ‘Wanted’ director will develop two properties in the horror genre by the late Marvel Comics creator
Timur Bekmambetov, the stunning visualist director of the dark fantasy epic Night Watch and the thriller Wanted, is set to develop a new cinematic universe based on unexploited works in the horror genre by the late comic book legend Stan Lee. Bekmambetov’s production banner Bazelevs will team up with ZQ Entertainment, a production company belonging to former CAA agent and producer Ara Keshishian, to develop Sawbones and Carnival of Killers, both of which show a darker side of Lee’s world. Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, the company Lee co-founded to develop his post-Marvel IP, will serve as executive producers on the projects
Sawbones tells the story of a frail 12-year old, ALEX COVIN, who reads a mysterious comic book and is transported into the comic’s terrifying world: a haunted Juvenile Detention Center overrun by demonic forces led by SAWBONES, a homicidal entity who preys upon the troubled inmates. Has Alex gone insane? Or is this nightmarish world his new reality? If he is to escape, Alex must find a way to defeat Sawbones, but he quickly comes to realize that Sawbones is the keeper of his darkness and the personification of all his fears.
Carnival of Killers, set amid the Dust Bowl storms that ravaged the American Great Plains in the 1930s, tells the story of a young girl with psychic abilities who senses that the traveling carnival she and her mother sought refuge in is ground zero for a looming alien invasion.
Scribes for the new Stan Lee horror cinematic universe are Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer, and Matt Greenberg. Kölsch and Widmyer, the director duo behind the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Pet Sematary, will be writing Carnival of Killers, while Pet Sematary’s co-writer Matt Greenberg will be penning Sawbones. Kölsch and Widmyer were previously responsible for the trippy horror film Starry Eyes, as well as several episodes of the third season of Scream, a TV show based on Wes Craven’s renowned slasher saga. Greenberg is no horror rookie either, with writing credits for 1408 starring Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack, Jason Blum’s Gramma, Halloween H20, and Reign of Fire which starred Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, and Gerard Butler.
Also producing are Majd Nassif of Bazelevs, ZQ Entertainment partners Ara Keshishian and Petr Jakl, and Martin J Barab. Chaz Rainey will executive produce along with POW! Entertainment.
This isn’t Bekmambetov’s first journey into the comic book world. In 2008, he helmed Wanted, an adaptation of an explosive graphic novel series created by another comic world legend, Mark Millar. Starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman, the R-rated action film was a box office success, grossing $341 million worldwide and earning two Oscar nominations.
‘There is no other mastermind who has created more successful entertainment than Stan Lee. I’m excited to bring to the screen the darker side of his creative genius and imagination’, says Bekmambetov.
‘Some fans may not know this, but Stan Lee wrote several horror comic book series in the 1940s and 1950s before superhero comics became big in the 1960s,’ Gill Champion, POW! Entertainment’s president remarked. ‘Stan relished revisiting the genre a few years ago when he wrote these stories, and we are excited to bring them to life with a director as visionary as Timur Bekmambetov. We think fans will be surprised to experience a darker side of Stan Lee that they’ve never witnessed before!’
Bekmambetov is repped by WME. Widmyer and Kolsch are repped by Adam Goldworm from Aperture Entertainment and WME. Matt Greenberg is repped by Verve and Shelley Browning.