Writer/director Oren Peli is set to start production next week on Area 51, his follow-up to the supernatural chiller Paranormal Activity which after creating exceptional underground notoriety since its production in 2007, is now in the early stages of its US release by Paramount.
The Area 51 storyline is a closely guarded secret but is reputedly centered around three teenagers whose curiosity leads them to the legendary and mysterious Area 51 Air Force base deep in the Nevada desert. Area 51 will, like Paranormal Activity employ a “found footage” narrative strategy. Though Peli will enjoy a significantly larger budget than the $11,000 he spent to make Paranormal Activity, he will continue to work with undiscovered actors.
Area 51 is produced by Jason Blum under his Blumhouse Productions banner, with Room 101’s Steven Schneider and IM Global chief Stuart Ford serving as executive producers. The film was co-financed by Aramid Entertainment Fund and Incentive Filmed Entertainment, with IM Global handling worldwide sales and CAA co-repping the title in the U.S.
Paranormal Activity has enjoyed sell out midnight screenings in 33 cities over recent weeks and Paramount is set to expand the film to around the clock screenings in 40 cities this weekend.
Said Peli: “Actually, I’d rather not say anything about ‘Area 51’ except that I am very pleased to be working with the same team who have stood by me for the two or three years it took ‘Paranormal Activity’ to get into theatres.”
Said Blum: “Oren has already proven that he has a unique gift for using technology and our inherent fear of the unknown to tell simple yet emotionally compelling stories. In this case his canvas is just a little larger.”
Said David Molner, Chairman of both Incentive and Aramid Capital Partners: “Not since ‘Blair Witch’ has such innovative film-making set off such a stampede among young movie audiences. We are proud and privileged to be in business with Oren and Jason and our longtime partners at IM Global.”
Said Ford: “We’ve already had a crazy ride with Oren and Jason on ‘Paranormal Activity’ that looks set to get even crazier. It’s exciting to be launching into ‘Area 51’ with Oren just as a worldwide audience is discovering his thrilling debut.”