Award-winning Danish filmmaker Ole Bornedal has been given the key to direct Dibbuk Box, a horror thriller from Lionsgate that Sam Raimi and his Ghost House partner Rob Tapert are producing.
Lionsgate is putting the pedal to the metal on Box, hoping to begin production in January 2011.
The film is in the vein of The Exorcist or The Shining, based on real events that transpired after a family wound up in possession of a haunted box, setting off a harrowing struggle to rid themselves of the box’s evil curse.
Juliet Snowden and Stiles White wrote the script. The origins of the project lie in a Los Angeles Times article written by Leslie Gornstein, titled A Jinx in a Box.
The real-life box gained notoriety in 2004 when it sold on eBay after causing inexplicable bad fortune to its owners, which was attributed to a dibbuk — a malevolent spirit of Jewish folklore trapped in the haunted box.
Lionsgate has North American distribution rights for Box and will be handling international sales at the upcoming American Film Market in Santa Monica.
The project puts Bornedal back in business with Ghost House as the director is working with the company on a remake of his 2007 Danish-language thriller The Substitute (Vikaren). The remake, which has Scott Derrickson attached to direct, is in development at Ghost House’s label Spooky Pictures, which is dedicated to making scary movies for the family audience.
Stan Wertlieb, Peter Schlessel and Ghost House’s Nathan Kahane will executive produce Box. Stephen Susco and Ghost House’s J.R. Young, Nicole Brown and Kelli Konop will co-produce.
John Sacchi is overseeing the production on behalf of Lionsgate.
Bornedal most recently wrote and directed Just Another Love Story and Deliver Us From Evil, which screened at the Toronto Film Festival. He is repped by WME and Principal Entertainment.