You can’t cheat death, but this directing duo is definitely going to try.
Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein, the film team known for their 2018 sci-fi thriller freakshave gotten their hands on the coveted performance of direction Final destination 6the relaunch of the New Line’s Grand Guignol horror franchise.
Craig Perry, the original franchise producer, co-produces with Sheila Hanahan Taylor. Jon Watts, the director behind the Tom Holland Spider Man films, also produces with Dianne McGunigle (FX’s Atlanta).
Watts also wrote the treatment for the relaunch. Guy Busick and Lori Evans Taylor, whose credits include: Ready or not and the relaunched Scream franchise, are writing the script. The previous Last Destination movie was released more than 10 years ago, in 2011.
Plot details are kept under lock and key, but the core concept remains: a character has a premonition of a horrific and deadly event, cheats on his or her own death, and saves several other lives in the process, only to have death as a personified but unstoppable force, come one by one for the survivors.
Finding a new director took much of the year, with more than two hundred candidates submitted by agencies and management firms. “It was rare that something this big was available and ready for a reboot,” said an insider.
Lipovsky and Stein climbed to the top because of their ideas and passion for the Final destination Brand. According to sources, the duo were already queuing up to get the gig when a final Zoom pitch meeting became what some in Hollywood called the Zoom call to end all Zoom calls.
The duo made their pitch together for New Line execs and producer, with a roaring fireplace behind them. As they concluded the meeting, the fire came alive and the cloak began to burn. The filmmakers stopped and quickly extinguished the flames after a tense moment. As they sat down, everyone was relieved that the accident was over, there was a tearing crack and suddenly the whooshing ceiling fan broke off and flew down, decapitating one of the filmmakers.
The executives and producers went from concern to laughter. The bit, with a combination of pre-recorded footage and visual effects, had transitioned seamlessly and showed their unabashed enthusiasm. It was, for everyone involved, the icing on the cake.
The first Final destination was directed by James Wong and starred Devon Sawa and Ali Larter. It made $112 million worldwide on a $23 million budget. Four more episodes followed in 2011, earning nearly $700 million worldwide to date, with directors such as David R. Ellis and Steven Quale at the helm. It is New Line’s third-largest horror franchise, after the more than $2 billion generated by the incantation universe of movies and $1 billion plus by the two It movies.
Lipovsky and Stein, known to their crews as ‘Zadam’, impressed with their feature debut freaks, which was one of the biggest sales at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and topped the Netflix Top Ten list. The film starred Emile Hirsch and Bruce Dern. They are also Emmy-nominated TV directors, whose most recent work includes: Fraggle Rock for Apple. The duo has a range of projects in the city, including a climbing thriller dead point with Spyglass.
Lipovsky and Stein are represented by Verve and Ground Control Entertainment.