Barbarian was, apparently, only the beginning for newfound thriller maestro Zach Cregger. The filmmaker, whose aforementioned horror project became a surprise hit in late 2022, has officially set his next movie at New Line with a whopping, unprecedented eight-figure deal. Titled Weapons, the film is being described by The Hollywood Reporter as “an interrelated, multistory horror epic that tonally is in the vein of [Paul Thomas Anderson’s] Magnolia“. No other plot details are currently known, though Cregger is confirmed to be producing the project alongside Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment and J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules of Boulderlight Productions, his former creative partners on Barbarian.
According to THR, the deal with New Line came less than 24 hours after Cregger pitched the Weapons script for the first time. Multiple major Hollywood studios were heavily interested in being part of the film, with some producers even calling the director’s representatives before his script was ready to be shared, and making offers sight unseen. On top of a staggering payday, Cregger‘s deal with New Line gives him a guaranteed greenlight, a guaranteed theatrical release, controlling interest in a backend pot, and total control over the film’s final cut. An agreement of this nature in today’s market is truly remarkable, considering Cregger has only made a single film prior.
New Line, which reportedly beat out Universal in a heated battle over Weapons‘ rights, released the following statement from President and CCO Richard Brener regarding the deal:
Zach proved with Barbarian that he can create a visceral theatrical experience for audiences and that he commands every tool in the filmmaker toolbelt. We couldn’t be happier that he, Roy [Lee] and Miri [Yoon], and J.D. [Lifshitz]and Rafi [Margules] chose New Line to be the home of his next film, and hope it is the first of many to come.Richard Brener
As stated by Brener, the studio hopes Weapons will be the first of many collaborations between New Line and Cregger, who has the potential to become a major new player in the cinematic horror scene in years to come.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter