Marvel's Storyboard Artist in Talks to Direct Creature Feature 'Lockdown at Franklin High' (Exclusive)

Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes and Benderspink are producing the project set up at Columbia.

Federico D’Alessandro is one Marvel’s top guys on the company’s productions.

The man acted as storyboard artist on Thor and Captain America: First Avenger, then added animatics supervisor to those duties, beginning with The Avengers and continuing on to Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Solder. He’ll be taking on similar duties on The Avengers: The Age of Ultron.

But what he really wants to do is direct, and he may get his chance.

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D’Alessandro is in talks to helm Lockdown at Franklin High, a creature feature set up at Columbia and being produced by Platinum Dunes and Benderspink.

Lockdown, written by Joe Ballarini and Gregg Bishop, centers on a brother-and-sister duo on opposite social sides (he’s an at-risk kid, she’s the good girl) that get stuck in a lockdown in their high school while a monster stalks the halls.

Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form are producing via Platinum Dunes while J.C. Spink and Chris Bender will produce for Benderspink.

The studio and the producers are hoping for a first quarter 2014 start.

Lockdown, with a budget in the $6 million range, could be Columbia’s first foray into the lucrative low-budget, high-yielding genre of filmmaking. Paramount, leading the way on this trend with its Paranormal Activity franchise, has made these movies a priority. Jason Blumhouse has made an empire out of it. Fox and Warner Bros. have dipped their toes in it to strong success (Chronicle, Project X, respectively), although they haven’t really pursued more.

D’Alesssandro, who also did the storyboards for the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader films, previously co-wrote and directed a short titled Recollection. He is repped by WME Oasis Media Group.