'Knowing' Writers Hired to Rewrite & Direct Universal's 'Ouija' Movie
It's been a long road to the big screen for Universal's Ouija, and it hasn't even entered production yet. "Lost" and Tron: Legacy writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis wrote the screenplay back in 2009, the project moved to Paramount, McG was brought on to direct in 2011, they couldn't agree on a $100 million budget, and then Universal picked it back up after slashing the budget to $5 million and putting it in the hands of Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum. Variety has the latest, pegging Knowing screenwriters Juliet Snowden and Stiles White as the newest directors who will also rewrite the project. More below!
This all seems like a lot of trouble for another board game project, but Ouija will be a much cheaper effort for the studio and also likely to yield much higher rewards. Audiences love the Paranormal Activity franchise, and with Jason Blum shepherding this project, Universal is clearly hoping for a similar success. Cutting the budget was the right move for this project - who needs a $100 million Ouija movie? - and will certainly help Universal recover from overspending on the disastrous box office clunker Battleship from earlier this year. Because of the generic nature of the Ouija game, it should be easy enough to turn it into an effective horror story without being beholden to much, and the writers of Knowing seem like a decent fit. Knowing wasn't half bad, and it dealt with much bigger themes and issues than I think anyone expected going into it, so we'll have to see if Snowden and White can make Ouija not only scary, but intelligent, too.