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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield

Hollywood bocomes Horrorwood as big studios invest in genre names Wan, Blum and Hamada (NEWS)

Variety reports that James Wan and Jason Blum are in “advanced talks” to merge Blum’s Blumhouse Productions and Wan’s Atomic Monster, the two horror titans looking to form what Variety is describing as a “mega house of chills and thrills” over at Universal Pictures.

The move itself is big news for Universal as many of Atomic Monster's movies have been picked up by Warner Brothers which fortunately to date have seemingly given Wan a blank cheque (see MALIGNANT). The move to Universal will likely see more of the same with the studio producing franchise hits Jurassic World and Fast and Furious, as well as housing the Universal Monsters it's an intriguing development.

Blumhouse too has gone from strength to strength seeing the reimagined conclusion to the HALLOWEEN saga and from 2023 will see a continuation of THE EXORCIST, not to mention the studios constant releases of smaller budget new voices.

The New York Times first reported the news of the merge, with Wan telling the outlet: “We really do complement each other, yin and yang, which is part of what makes this so exciting.”

The New York Times report also indicates that Blumhouse and Atomic Monster are already considering a sequel to next year’s M3GAN, which looks primed for box office success.

Jason Blum is “pushing for Blumhouse to make at least eight horror movies for release in theaters each year, up from the three or four it has historically delivered. This is a big movement for the genre with one studio providing at least one horror almost every month will only increase output from rival studios trying to get a piece of the pie.

In addition to the powerful merge, Paramount have hired Walter Hamada to increase the studios horror output. Like Wan, Hamada has transferred over from Warner Bros and has been credited to the likes of THE CONJURING, FRIDAY THE 13TH and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchises.

Hamada will oversee all things horror for Paramount from 2023. “With his track record for groundbreaking success, Walter is the ideal partner and visionary to build out our mainstream horror genre franchise business,” said Paramount Pictures President and CEO Brian Robbins. “As evidenced by the fantastic performance of Smile, there is a tremendous appetite for original, high-concept storytelling in the global marketplace, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

It's not hard to see why he horror business is the top priority for studios right now. With the superhero fatigue hitting many cinema goers, it seems the baton is being passed to the horror genre and while franchise films are doing as well as ever (HALLOWEEN ENDS) there are also plenty of new voices and stories breaking ground (SMILE, BARBARIAN, TERRIFIER 2) and with two of the genre's major forces joining forces, they are about to help make the genre even more popular. The next few years are certainly glnot going to be barren of scares.


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