Warner Bros. Nabs Sci-fi Short 'True Skin' for Feature (Exclusive)

True Skin Screengrab - H 2012
<p>True Skin Screengrab - H 2012</p>
Director Stephan Zlotescu will helm the expanded incarnation, with "Harry Potter's" David Heyman set to produce.

Less than a week after the sci-fi short True Skin hit the web, Warner Bros. has pre-emptively swiped it off the table, picking it up for Harry Potter’s David Heyman to produce.

He will produce with his Warners-based Heyday Films president Jeffrey Clifford along with Scott Glassgold and Raymond Brothers of IAM Entertainment.

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Stephan Zlotescu, who directed the short, is attached to direct the feature version; Chris Sewall, the short's producer, will be a co-producer. The deal was made Tuesday night.

Zlotescu is an FX guru who has worked on videos for Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj but harbored feature dreams. With his FX background, he made the short on a shoestring budget, hoping to use it as a showcase for his style and ideas.

It seems to have done the trick, and now the studio hopes to make a project that has an underlying big concept but on budget similar to the sci-fi found-footage hit Chronicle.

The short is set in the not-too-distant future where everyone is augmenting their bodies. The story’s hero can't afford to augment in the U.S., so he heads to the black market of Bangkok, where he gets hold of a mysterious chip that he discovers is slowly turning him robotic -- and is a hot commodity wanted by shadowy forces.

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The feature will incorporate that aspect as it thrusts the hero in a race against time to elude his pursuers and save what's left of his humanity. 

Zlotescu, Sewell and H1, a man who acted as cinematographer of the short and also might receive a producing credit, are a video team calling themselves N1ON. They are repped by IAM and attorney David Fox of Myman Greenspan.

IAM, quickly becoming a go-to outfit for those looking to take their shorts into the movie world, is also producing Fox’s adaptation of Jesus Orellan’s short Rosa.

Heyman, post-Potter, has kept busy with projects big and small. He is a producer on Gravity, a sci-fi drama from Alfonso Cuaron that stars Sandra Bullock, and is an exec producer on the recently wrapped New Line comedy We’re the Millers.