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Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes has worked with a few different distributors over the years, including Warner Bros. and Rogue Pictures, but the company has just signed a first-look deal with Paramount. The attraction for Paramount is that the label has produced low-budget films that do quite well financially. The attraction for us is that with this deal Platinum Dunes seems interested in breaking out of the horror remake game and into the realm of low-budget action and thriller pictures.

Variety reports on the deal, and notes that Dunes is already at work on The Butcherhouse Chronicles, written by Stephen Susco and described as not unlike “The Breakfast Club in a haunted house.” OK, pass on that one. Next is Property of the State, a script Paramount had going already, by Howard Franklin and featuring “a young white-collar criminal whose attempt to straighten out his life is imperiled by an obsessive and menacing parole officer.” Hm. Familiar, a potboiler, but get the right cast in there and it could be fun. Better, and definitely better than a horror remake.

But if producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form can bring an original approach to a low-budget action thriller or two that promotes an idea or two that a studio wouldn’t take chances on for a larger-budget film, I’m all for it. In theory I should love these guys, and if they can move on to fully original projects I’d be a lot more supportive than I am for the horror revamps. The Unborn and Horsemen weren’t remakes and they weren’t great films, but Horsemen at least counts as an interesting attempt to put the Platinum Dunes label on something new. I want to see studios taking chances with weirder low-budget films, so I’ll give these guys a few chances and see how it works out.

The trade doesn’t note how this would impact a further Friday the 13th film, and the answer is very likely ‘not at all’.

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