After returning to the big screen following a three-year hiatus with last year’s Rampage, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) has signed on for the lead role in Screen Gems’ upcoming adaptation of the James Herbert horror novel Shrine, according to Deadline.
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The film, which is being written and directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos (Beauty and the Beast, Snake Eyes) in his directorial debut, follows a disgraced journalist who tries to use a series of supposedly divine occurrences in a small New England town to help revitalize his career, only to learn there is a much darker nature to the events.
The project first found life in December when Screen Gems acquired the rights to the novel and Spiliotopoulos signed on to write, direct and produce alongside Ghost House’s Sam Raimi (Drag Me to Hell) and Robert Tapert (The Evil Dead). Shrine will mark the second collaboration between Morgan and Ghost House since the 2012 box office hit The Possession.
Spiliotopoulos got his start in the industry scripting TV movies and direct-to-video Disney films including Winnie the Pooh specials, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning and Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure before making his way into big screen territory with 2014’s adaptation of the action fantasy comic Hercules and following it up with scripting 2016’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War and Disney’s 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. His upcoming works include developing the story for the upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot and G.I. Joes spin-off prequel, Snake Eyes.
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Morgan is best known for his role as the infamous antagonist Negan on AMC’s mammoth zombie series The Walking Dead as well as the Winchester patriarch on the CW’s acclaimed horror-fantasy series Supernatural, and is known for his work on the big screen in the 2009 adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel Wathcmen, the 2010 adaptation of the Vertigo comic book series The Losers, a cameo as Thomas Wayne in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and last year’s box office smash Rampage.
Production is set to begin on Shrine in February.
(Photo Credit: Backgrid Images)