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Universal and Hasbro are back in business on Ouija.
The studio let go its adaptation of the board game in August due to budgetary concerns. But the project has been reconfigured and re-set up at Universal, which has slated it for release in 2013.
Original producers Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes are still on board but the project now has Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions as a producer as well.
Blum is the microbudget horror maven behind the Paranormal Activity franchise and Insidious, movies that scared audiences and generated huge box office returns. The pics are hugely profitable because of their low overhead, suggesting Ouija has been re-conjured at a significantly lower price. In fact, one source suggests the budget might have been pared to the $5 million range.
That would be a huge drop, considering the project ran into trouble at Universal over a budget said to be just shy of $100 million, which insiders pegged to the big scope of a special-effects-laden family adventure and the cost of having McG (Charlie’s Angels, This Means War) on board as a director.
Universal has not named a writer or director and is not revealing a revised logline but sources say Ouija will follow Blum’s high concept, lower budget model. The movies Blumhouse has been making for Universal have been under $5 million and Ouija is expected to follow suit. It is unlikely to be a found-footage movie, something that has been a popular trope of late for low-budget horror flicks.
Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes first partnered on Vigilandia, which is currently in production. After that good working partnership, Universal and Platinum Dunes approached Blumhouse about taking Ouija in a new direction.
Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir of Hasbro will also produce.