New Line secures Barbarian director’s next project

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Following lots of interest, Zach Cregger will follow up one of one of 2022’s real head-turners – Barbarian – with Weapons.

Following some intense bidding, New Line has won the services of Zach Cregger. The bidding war to secure Cregger and his next film, Weapons,was reportedly fierce, which isn’t really surprising considering the splash made by his 2022 debut, Barbarian. 

As horror continues to be one of the few genres that reliably draws audiences into cinemas, we’ve seen some big powerplays of late, not least with Universal enticing James Wan and his production company, Atomic Monster, away from Warner Bros. That move left Warners with a distinct void in its long-term horror strategy and thus the studio (through its New Line division) looks to have gone all out to secure the services of one of the genre’s hottest young talents.

The reported deal looks like a very sweet one indeed for Cregger. His budget for Weapons is double the size of Barbarian's, whilst he has reportedly scored a string of other concessions such as “a guaranteed greenlight, a guaranteed theatrical release, a controlling interest in a backend pot and Cregger receiving final cut pending a threshold being met during test screenings.”

Whichever way you look at it, that’s a very handsome deal for a director with one film under their belt and highlights just how seriously the studio is about replacing Wan. Cregger’s deal looks to be the kind of agreement that will establish him at Warner Bros/New Line for some years to come, especially if Weapons is a hit.

The film itself is said to be an ‘interrelated, multi-story horror epic that tonally is in the vein of Magnolia.’ 

That certainly has our interest and seems like the kind of big swing that should be commended, coming from a filmmaker who proved with Barbarian that he’s unafraid of taking his projects in bold directions. We’ll let you know more on Weapons as we hear it.

The Hollywood Reporter

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