Cybersurfing: Brian DePalma or Greg McLean to direct Paranormal Activity 2?

The LA TIMES Movie blog tells us that Paramount has three directors in the running for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 – which is still in the script development stage even though its target release date is this October. Who are the lucky 3?

  • Brad Anderson (who made a thriller called TRANSSIBERIAN with Woody Harrelson)
  • Greg McLean (WOLF CREEK and ROGUE)
  • Brian DePalma

The LA Times (and the folks at Film School Rejects) seem confused by the inclusion of DePalma, but if you have ever seen his earlier films like HI MOM and GREETINGS, you know he was doing the hand-help, you-are-there thing decades before BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. In fact, he seems like the perfect director for a PARARNOMAL sequel: he knows the genre, and despite his more recent work on big-budget studios movies, he knows how to pull of a little low-budget flick. If anything the return to a smaller film may act as an antidote to DePalma’s recent string of disappointments, such as THE BLACK DAHLIA.
What is more confusing than the possible choice of DePalma is the unanswered question of why Oren Peli, who wrote and directed the original, is not on board for the sequel. When Paramount originally snapped up rights to PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (when it was a popular title on the festival circuit a couple years ago), their announced intention was not to release it but to remake it on a bigger budget, with Peli at the helm. Instead, after letting the film gather dust for months, the studio took it off the shelf and used it to fill a hole in their distribution schedule, and the result was a major sleeper success, earning over $100-million at the box office. You would think that kind of performance would earn you a second shot in the director’s chair.

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