12:25pm PT by Daniel Miller
'The River' Producer to Write 'Paranormal Activity 4' (Exclusive)
Zack Estrin has closed a deal to write Paranormal Activity 4 for Paramount.
Estrin has a strong relationship with the filmmakers behind the lucrative Paranormal franchise: He is a writer/executive producer on ABC's The River, which also is executive produced by Paranormal producer Jason Blum and the horror franchise's creator, Oren Peli.
Estrin also has genre experience, having worked as a writer and co-executive producer on Fox's Prison Break and as a writer on ABC's No Ordinary Family.
Paranormal Activity 4 will open nationwide Oct. 19. The logline for the film is being kept under wraps. Paranormal 3 directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are expected to return for the fourth film, but a source said the studio is not in negotiations with the duo.
The Paranormal franchise has been a huge success for Paramount and Blum and Peli, who will produce Paranormal 4. (Steven Schneider and Akiva Goldsman will executive produce.) Released Oct. 21, Paranormal 3 opened to a massive $54 million in the U.S. and grossed $202.2 million worldwide -- besting the first two films, an unusual feat for a franchise's third outing. The projects are made on shoestring budgets; Paranormal 3 cost about $5 million to produce.
The first Paranormal, which cost about $15,000 to produce and opened in a limited run in September 2009, went on to gross $193.4 million worldwide. Paranormal 2 cost about $3 million to produce and grossed $177.5 million worldwide.
Estrin is represented by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.