Are you familiar with the names Steven Schneider and Jason Blum? If you follow the film biz at all then you soon will be, as these are the producers behind director Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity.” The micro-budgeted movie was completed in 2007, but has been building momentum in recent weeks thanks to a staggered release schedule and some inventive grassroots promotion on the part of the studio, Paramount.
While Peli is preparing to shoot his next film, Schneider and Blum are keeping busy with other talents. They’ve currently got a spec script from newcomer Carey Malloy for “The Jealous One,” which “Adventureland” producer Sidney Kimmel Entertainment is close to acquiring, according a post on The Hollywood Reporter’s Risky Biz Blog.
“The Jealous One,” based on Celia Fremlin’s 1965 book, is described as a “Hitchcockian thriller.” The story focuses on a wife who dreams of murdering a neighbor who she believes has been tempting her husband. So obviously she’s a little freaked out the next day when the news breaks that the other woman has mysteriously disappeared.
THR writer Steven Zeitchik rightly points out how unusual a sale of this script, written on spec (ie for no pay, pending a sale), is in today’s market. Given the state of the financial markets, studios aren’t as keen as they might be to spend money on an unproven quantity. An adaptation of a 1960s novel with no immediate pop culture relevance is certainly that, especially seeing as how it comes from a relative newcomer.
Of course, Blum and Schneider are continuing to prove with “Paranormal Activity” that they know how to spot quality and highlight it. If they’re amped about “The Jealous One” then I am too. Especially if the “Hitchcockian” label turns out to be more than just PR-speak.
Have you ever read “The Jealous One”? Is “Paranormal Activity” enough to convince you that you want to check out anything else that Blum and Schneider get behind?