While Andrés Muschietti’s IT keeps breaking box office records, New Line Cinema is preparing a new horror film by adapting the Dutch horror short Sweet Tooth into a feature film. It’s not rare for big studios to acquire the rights of acclaimed short-films to produce their feature adaptations – as was recently seen with Lights Out.
Horror classics such as Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, Fred Walton’s When a Stranger Calls, James Wan’s Saw franchise, and most recently Jennifer Kent’s critically acclaimed The Babadook, had their beginnings as short-films and eventually became feature films.
According to THR, New Line has acquired the rights to Nico van den Brink’s short Sweet Tooth, which premiered at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival back in July. Fantasia is an annual genre film festival where distributors can set their eyes on foreign and domestic films for release across North America. Sweet Tooth – which is only five minutes long – follows a woman who, after coming home and watching the news, discovers that her neighbors (a mother and her two kids) have been murdered. Things get twisted and creepy when she hears children’s laughter.
Van den Brink, writer and director of the short, will direct the feature, with Wan and Chris Bender (The Butterfly Effect) in charge of producing. New Line Cinema will hire a writer to expand the story into a feature, with van den Brink getting a story by credit.
Aside from co-creating the Saw franchise along screenwriter Leigh Whannell, Wan has established himself as a big name in the horror genre, directing films like Insidious, The Conjuring, and producing the spinoffs Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and The Nun. Among his most recent work – and outside the horror genre – is DC’s Aquaman, where he serves as director and co-writer. Chris Bender’s producer credits include films from different genres, such as American Pie, Cats & Dogs, Final Destination, and The Hangover trilogy.
Sweet Tooth has certainly fallen into the right hands, as Wan has proven to be able to successfully build a franchise out of a short-film. New Line has been quite prosperous with its horror films in the last few years, with films such as The Conjuring (and its spinoffs) and currently IT, which is expected to keep on breaking records for weeks to come.
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