Timur Bekmambetov To Bring Stan Lee’s Horror Universe To The Screen

Timur Bekmambetov, the filmmaker and producer who has developed the ScreenLife technology behind films such as Unfriended, Searching, and Profile, is creating a new cinematic universe based on horror works by late comic book great, Stan Lee.

Bekmambetov’s production banner Bazelevs are teaming with ZQ Entertainment and Lee’s POW! Entertainment – the company the comic book architect co-founded post-Marvel – for two films – Sawbones and Carnival Of Killers.

Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes, the recent Pet Sematary) will write the latter, while Matt Greenberg (1408, Halloween: H20) will pen the former.

So what does the king of superheroes have in store in the horror genre? Well, Sawbones follows a frail 12-year old named Alex who reads a mysterious comic book and is transported into the comic’s terrifying world – a haunted Juvenile Detention Center overrun by demonic forces and led by Sawbones, a homicidal entity who preys upon the troubled inmates.

Alex has to quickly work out whether he’s gone insane or if this nightmarish world his new reality. But he soon discovers that Sawbones is the personification of all his fears, and he must confront them to escape.

Carnival Of Killers is set amid the Dust Bowl storms that ravaged much of America in the 1930s. It revolves around a young girl with psychic abilities who senses that the traveling carnival she and her mother seek refuge in is ground zero for a looming alien invasion.

“There is no other mastermind who has created more successful entertainment than Stan Lee. I’m excited to bring to the screen the darker side of his creative genius and imagination,” Bekmambetov told Deadline.

Gill Champion, POW! Entertainment’s president, added: Stan Lee wrote several horror comic book series in the 1940s and 1950s before superhero comics became big in the 1960s […] we are excited to bring them to life with a director as visionary as Timur Bekmambetov. We think fans will be surprised to experience a darker side of Stan Lee that they’ve never witnessed before!”

It will no doubt be interesting to see Lee’s horror creations come to life on the big screen, and these projects also make total sense from a business standpoint. With Marvel now the dominant Hollywood franchise – and Lee being the original architect behind those heroes – fans will naturally be intrigued to see what he came up with in a totally different genre.

If Sawbones and Carnival Of Killers are box office hits, this new cinematic universe will be underway, and there will probably be a new three-letter abbreviation on everyone’s mind.


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