Simon Friend, who brought ‘Life of Pi’ to Broadway and the West End, has set his sights on the Paramount franchise.
Get ready for Paranormal Activity, the stage play.
Simon Friend, the veteran producer who brought Life of Pi to Broadway, has picked up the license to the Paramount horror movie series with the intent of bringing it to the West End via his Simon Friend Entertainment.
Levi Holloway, who wrote the horror-tinged Broadway play Grey House, is on board to pen the stage adaptation, which is described as being in early development.
Created by Oren Peli, who wrote, directed, and shot the initial installment, Paranormal is a horror movie series focused, in most outings, on a family terrorized by a demon. The bulk of them were made between 2009 and 2015. The movies capitalized on the growing proliferation of video and cellphone cameras to tell spooky and jump-scare-filled tales to great effect.
Made on microbudgets, the movies were massive moneymakers, with the first one considered to be among the most profitable movies ever made, grossing $193.4 million globally. The most recent movie, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, was released in 2021 on Paramount+. Theatrically, the movies have grossed almost $900 million.
Friend is a veteran with plenty of experience bringing movies to the stage, both on Broadway and the West End, with The Da Vinci Code and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel among the better-known titles. Pi, meanwhile, won five Olivier Awards and, earlier this year, three Tonys. The story is based on the Yann Martel novel that was adapted into an Oscar-winning feature directed by Ang Lee.
Friend has also branched out into TV and feature production, and produced the 2020 drama The Father for which Anthony Hopkins won a best actor Oscar.
Holloway is a Chicago-based playwright whose Grey House opened in the Windy City and hit Broadway earlier this year. The production, which closed mid-summer, starred Tatiana Maslany, Paul Sparks and Laurie Metcalf and tells of a couple who take shelter during a blizzard in a cabin occupied by a mysterious old lady and her teenage girls. Millicent Simmonds and Sophia Anne Caruso were also on the playbill.
Holloway, repped by CAA, was also part of the Steppenwolf Theatre and co-founded Neverbird Project, a deaf and hearing youth theater project.
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