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Danish helmer Susanne Bier will direct from a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer (Arrival).
The project, which Netflix film chief Scott Stuber had been developing at Universal through his Bluegrass Films banner, has migrated to Stuber’s new home at the streaming giant.
Based on a 2014 novel by Josh Malerman, the story is set in the near future, where a mother (Bullock) and her two young children are among a small group of survivors after a mysterious alien force has driven the world’s population to deadly violence. The three must make their way on a terrifying journey — 20 miles in a rowboat — while blindfolded, with nothing to rely on but the mother’s wits and the children’s trained ears.
Dylan Clark, Chris Morgan and Clayton Townsend will produce the pic, which is being eyed for a production start in August.
Bird Box is the latest Netflix film to enlist an A-list star, following Brad Pitt in War Machine and Will Smith in the upcoming sci-fi/cop drama Bright, and signals Stuber’s aggressive push into bigger-budget, studio-friendly fare. The project assembles two Oscar winners in Bullock and Bier (Bullock won best actress honors for 2009’s The Blind Side and Bier won in the foreign-language film category for 2010’s In a Better World), while Heisserer was an Oscar nominee for 2016’s Arrival. Heisserer’s script was the No. 1 pick of the 2014 Blood List, the horror genre’s version of the Black List.
Bier is also adept at English-language films, having directed the Jennifer Lawrence-Bradley Cooper pairing Serena (2014).
Bullock, who most recently shot Gary Ross’ Ocean’s Eight for Warner Bros., is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham.
Bier is handled by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment.
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