M3GAN

James Wan is no stranger to movies about creepy dolls. He’s been involved with plenty of movies about them, from the tricycle-riding one in Saw (“do you want to play a game?”) to Dead Silence to the one from Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation. But Wan can’t get enough, because he’s reuniting with Jason Blum for yet another movie about an eerie killer doll. The duo will produce M3GAN, a “horror thriller” that has an up-and-coming director attached to it.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Wan and Blum, who have previously partnered on the Insidious franchise, are reuniting to produce M3GAN, which hails from writer Akela Cooper, best known for her work as a writer-producer of Luke Cage, American Horror Story, The 100, and Grimm. Gerard Johnstone, who wrote, edited, and directed the 2014 New Zealand horror comedy Housebound, is attached to direct M3GAN. Here’s the trailer for Housebound, which counts /Film’s managing editor Jacob Hall among its many fans:

M3GAN tells the story of “a brilliant toy company roboticist who uses artificial intelligence to develop M3GAN, a life-like doll programmed to emotionally bond with her newly orphaned niece. But when the doll’s programming works too well, she becomes overprotective of her new friend…with terrifying results.”

That’s the boilerplate synopsis, but Wan explained what the story is really about: “Pretty much the concept is about embracing technology too much and relying too much on it. And what happens with technology runs amok. It’s a commentary on the world we live in and it feels relevant.”

The notion of technology running amok is obviously nothing new, but I’d like to think that the combination of talent involved here will result in something that connects with audiences on a deeper level. Cooper is a solid writer, and even the trailer for Housebound shows that Johnstone clearly has a handle on how to mix horror and comedy – a task that’s practically a requirement for any project featuring a killer doll. Hopefully Wan and Blum can light the path and lend their considerable experience to Johnstone and the team, because the idea of a doll who’s out to bond with a human instead of outright destroy them may provide an interesting opportunity for technological commentary beyond the typical Skynet-style observations that have flooded multiplexes in the decades since James Cameron’s The Terminator became a massive hit.

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