'The River' Producer to Write 'Paranormal Activity 4' (Exclusive)

Zack Estrin Headshot - P 2012
<p>Zack Estrin Headshot - P 2012</p>   |   Getty Images
Zack Estrin works with "Paranormal" filmmakers Jason Blum and Oren Peli on ABC's mystery thriller

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.

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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.

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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.

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller