Wednesday, December 11, 2019

'Shut In': Jason Bateman to Direct 'Panic Room'

Hey, remember earlier this year when Jason Bateman beat out the directors of Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Killing Eve to win an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series? Split votes be damned – the dude took home the gold, and immediately parlayed that success into potentially directing a remake of Clue. Now Bateman has set up another movie to direct (possibly instead) called Shut In, a thriller from New Line that’s described as being in the vein of David Fincher’s 2002 Jodie Foster movie Panic Room.

Deadline reports that Bateman will next direct Shut In, a small scale, contained movie described as an “edgy thriller in which a single mother is held captive by her violent ex, with her two young children left at risk. She must do everything to protect them and survive.” This is the first project Bateman will direct but not star in since getting behind the camera for an episode of the 2008 television comedy Do Not Disturb. (Since then, he’s helmed Bad Words, The Family Fang, Ozark, and a couple episodes of the upcoming HBO adaptation of Stephen King’s The Outsider.) The script is from first-time screenwriter Melanie Toast.

The question now becomes: will Bateman still direct the Clue remake? Deadline’s article is unclear: it says the new version of Clue is “still alive, but it would have been too much for Bateman to get it done and get back to his Netflix series.” Does that mean he’s walking away from the remake altogether, or are the producers of Clue going to wait on Bateman to finish another season of Ozark before getting underway? I’ve reached out to his representatives for clarification, and will update this piece if we hear back. Evidently Shut In is a “better fit for his schedule,” although presumably Clue would also be a one-location thriller of sorts. My guess is the all-star nature of a Clue remake cast made it more difficult to align than Shut In, which could theoretically star an unknown (as far as we know, casting has not begun yet).

This movie is being produced in part by Dallas Sonnier and Amanda Presmyk from Cinestate, the relatively small production company behind movies like Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99. But they don’t only make ultra-violent S. Craig Zahler movies: Cinestate also produced The Standoff at Sparrow Creek, one of this year’s most riveting thrillers and one that seems to share the same very loose “one location” vibe with Shut In. (Sparrow Creek is on Hulu right now – do yourselves a favor and seek it out.)

Final negotiations between Bateman and the studio are reportedly still underway, but the plan is apparently to begin production on Shut In sometime the first quarter of 2020.

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