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Horror masters United: Behind James Wan and Jason Bloom's deal talks

If the merger goes through, the combination of Atomic Monster and Blumhouse will be able to work with a filmmaker who has produced a string of successful horror films and for theatrical and streaming.

James Wan and Jason Blum

James Wan and Jason Bloom Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Here’s one that promises to shake up the horror movie world and leave all vampires in the dust.

James Wan and Jason Blum are working out details in advanced talks to create a massive horror factory as the genre becomes one of Hollywood’s most Hot item. If the transaction is completed, it may be early 2022, Wan’s Atom Monster and Blumhouse will operate as an independent label with its own creative autonomy. Wan’s record label will transfer its pre-emptive rights from Warner Bros. to Blumhouse’s parent company, Universal Pictures.

The new entity will be a three-way ownership split between Blum, Wan and NBCUniversal parent Comcast, with Blum remaining the majority shareholder. “We don’t usually do more than three or four plays a year, and I hope with James we can double that to six or eight,” Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter.

One of Blum and Wan’s long-term goals is to create a People envy the company and sell it in the future. More immediately, however, the combined company will be able to substantially increase the horror franchise with a filmmaker (Wan) who produces original horror franchises and a producer (Blum) who handles theatrical and streaming franchises. Yield.

“It’s a sea change for horror,” says a filmmaker who has worked with Wan and Bloom. “It elevates horror, and the industry is definitely going to take it more seriously.”

Not only has horror gone mainstream, it’s now probably one of two genres besides comics that have been valid for Theatrical release, especially this year.

Paramount’s Smile, released in September 24, has exceeded $160 million dollars worldwide (17 domestic million dollars) and is the first annual original and first Horror title. For one cost about $17 million. Blum’s black phone

was a critical and slow box office blockbuster that made almost $24 ten thousand dollars with a budget of $17 million dollars. A director Ti West’s one-two punch, X 1235267231 and Pearl 1235267231, and won over critics and fans alike.

And besides Disney/Marvel Studios and Warner Bros/DC Studios, the other studios that basically have a monopoly on superheroes can delve into the genre.

“If you can’t make a comic book movie, horror is the best thing,” adds Blum.

News of the merger comes on the heels of Paramount’s own horror game trick. The studio hired Walter Hamada, who just ended his stint as Warner’s head of DC films, to oversee its own horror franchise, which it hopes to expand after the success of “Smile.”

While Blumhouse/Atomic Monster may have taken a volumetric approach, Hamada is seen taking a more orchestrated approach, say people who have worked with the filmmakers. “[Walter] only develops what he does,” said one.

But while Universal and Paramount thrive in the scary business, Warner pales in comparison. Atomic Monster had a previous deal at Warner where Wan was doing post production Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

and his call Movies and spin-offs alone generated over $2 billion in box office revenue. His contract expired in the spring, and the studio made no offer to keep him.

Hamada was a horror exec at Warner’s New Line division, where he and Wan debuted Summons before the exec moved to DC Movies . He’s also happy to move on and hasn’t approached the studio deals that longtime execs are usually used to. “Warner used to be the first place [to take] horror because of New Line,” says one filmmaker. “Losing these guys shows it doesn’t know the value of the talent they have.”

Kirsten Chuba contributed reporting.

A version of this story first appeared in November 18 Issue of The Hollywood Reporter Magazine.

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