John Carpenter checking into 'The Ward'

Psychological thriller will star Amber Heard

It was only a matter of time before John Carpenter ended up in a mental institution.

Yes, the master of horror will be running the asylum when he directs "The Ward," a psychological thriller that will star Amber Heard. Doug Mankoff, Mike Marcus and Andy Spaulding of Echo Lake Entertainment are producing. Peter Block of A Bigger Boat is co-financing and producing with Echo Lake.

Written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, the film follows the disturbing experience of a young woman in an institution who is terrorized by a ghost. It is scheduled to begin shooting in May.

" 'The Ward' is the kind of script that I've been looking for: a complex, visceral story, full of suspense and scares," Carpenter said.

This is a rare genre effort for Echo Lake, which has produced films such as "Tsotsi," "Water" and "Away From Her."

Heard, repped by Endeavor and Hyler Management, most recently starred in "Pineapple Express" and "The Informers." She recently wrapped production on "The Joneses," also produced by Echo Lake.

Carpenter, repped by WMA and Echo Lake Management, directed "Halloween," "The Thing" and "Escape From New York." He also has "Riot" in development with Contrafilm.
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