When informed people (like those over at Collider, who brought this to our attention) think Platinum Dunes, they recall the production company owned by Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form.  When I think Platinum Dunes, I imagine that Kanye West “Dancing in the Desert” music video.

But I digress.

Platinum Dunes has signed a first-look deal with Paramount, starting with their next film, The Butcherhouse Chronicles.  A first-look deal, for those who don’t know, is (very briefly) an agreement in which a Party A (Paramount) has the right to pick up a project before Party B (Dunes) can offer it to anyone else.

The Butcherhouse Chronicles is a thriller that follows teenagers into an allegedly haunted house.  Collider tells us the producers are calling it “The Breakfast Club in a haunted house” – although I swear that’s been the catchy pitch for 20 other movies in the last decade. Up ’til now, Dunes has been known as a genre film (mostly horror) production company that specialized in remakes.  Past PD movies include remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Amityville Horror (2005),  Friday the 13th (2009) and the upcoming A Nightmare on Elm Street remake.  Ya gotta hand it to these guys from a business perspective: they make movies that are all-but-guaranteed respectable box-office numbers, on modest budgets, thereby all-but-guaranteeing profits.

On the other hand, this company also seems to embody the “we’ll pump out any piece of garbage as long as there’s money in it” philosophy that makes me kick furniture over inside my ivory tower.  Word on the street is this new deal with Paramount marks Platinum Dunes’ attempt to get out of the horror genre and into the thriller and action genres.  Good for them.

Michael Bay is known best right now for directing Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The recent remarks about his directing style from New Yorker film critic David Denby have got to be some more scathing a major director has caught in a long time.  Outside of Platinum Dunes, Fuller produced Virtual Girl 2: Virtual Vegas and Form produced Kissing a Fool (starring David Schwimmer and Jason Lee) :-| .

There are Bay detractors out there who say he relies far too much on explosions and CGI.  I’d be curious to see what he could do with a low-budget action movie.  Think if Platinum Dunes moves into a budget-action arena and he were called upon to direct – could he pull off an entertaining movie if he were stripped of all the big-budget glitter?

No word on when Doomed Teens Die #46, er, The Butcherhouse Chronicles will be released.

Source: Variety via Collider