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James Wan Developing Monster Movie for Universal (Exclusive)

Robbie Thompson, a longtime writer and co-executive producer on The CW’s 'Supernatural,' is penning the script.
James Wan   |   Getty
Robbie Thompson, a longtime writer and co-executive producer on The CW’s 'Supernatural,' is penning the script.

James Wan and Universal are teaming for a monster movie.

Robbie Thompson, a longtime writer and co-executive producer on The CW’s Supernatural, is penning the script for the as-yet untitled horror thriller.

Sources say the story takes its cues from Universal’s classic monster legacy and shines it through a modern prism. With shades of Disturbia, the tale will focus on a group of teens who discover that a neighbor is building a monster in his basement. Spoiler: The monster gets loose.

Wan is not directing the project but will produce via his Atomic Monster banner.

The new project development happens in the glow of the success of Universal’s The Invisible Man, which overperformed when it opened last week. The movie seems to reaffirm the studio’s position of jettisoning the idea of an interconnected monster movie universe, something it tried to launch with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, and take a filmmaker-driven approach instead. Universal already has projects in the works from Dexter Fletcher, Paul Feig and Elizabeth Banks.

In addition to wading into monster territory with Supernatural, Thompson is currently a writer on Cursed, Netflix’s modern day-set reimagining of the King Arthur legend and based on the YA book by Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller. He is repped by Artists First Inc. and Sloan, Offer.

Wan and his Atomic Monster have a busy year ahead. The company is in postproduction on the creepy thriller Malignant, which Wan directed and is set for a Aug. 14 release. The company is also producing the latest installment of The Conjuring, subtitled The Devil Made Me Do It, due to open Sept. 11. Also coming is There’s Someone Inside Your House from Netflix and a new take on Mortal Kombat, slated for a Jan. 15, 2021, opening.

Wan is repped by CAA, Stacey Testro International and Myman Greenspan.

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