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Robert Pattinson, ‘Smile’ Filmmaker Parker Finn Team for ‘Possession’

Robert Pattinson, ‘Smile’ Filmmaker Parker Finn Team for ‘Possession’

Robert Pattinson, ‘Smile’ Filmmaker Parker Finn Team for ‘Possession’

Smile filmmaker Parker Finn is venturing into alien territory.

Finn has quietly teamed with Robert Pattinson to remake Possession, the cult 1981 psychological supernatural horror movie written and directed by Polish filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski.

The project has engaged the town’s attention, with a bidding war breaking out among A24, Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. The process is in the early stages, with meetings taking place this week, according to sources, and other companies may enter the fray.

Finn is attached to write the script and direct. Pattinson is producing via his production company Icki Eneo Arlo; his acting involvement will be clarified down the road as the script and schedules develop. Also producing is Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee, who helped produce Zach Cregger’s breakout Barbarian.

Set in West Berlin, Possession starred Sam Neill as a spy who returns home from the field to his wife (Isabella Adjani) and son. All is not quiet on the marital front as the wife asks for a divorce and the couple next descends into a destructive cycle that not only includes infidelity and neglect but spins into murder, a tentacled alien creature and doppelgangers.

The movie was Żuławski’s meditation on marriage, written as a reaction to his own crumbling marriage. The movie, an international co-production between France and Germany, was not a hit nor particularly well-received when it was released, but it gained a cult status for the filmmaker’s full commitment to the premise and went through a re-appraisal.

The reception to the pitches has been extremely positive, with execs talking about the “batshit” and “out there” story but also its strong commercial potential. How to market the eventual movie is also part of the conversations.

Finn, who is in post on Smile 2, is looking beyond his horror franchise with Possession, aiming for something more expansive and elevated but also still intimate.

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After shooting a couple of shorts, Finn made his feature debut with Smile, which became the biggest horror hit of 2022, grossing over $216 million worldwide. The $17 million movie’s premise centered on a supernatural entity that made people commit suicide. In the wake of that hit, he signed a first-look deal with Paramount and jumped into Smile 2. (Possession is not part of the first-look, which is why the studio, which has seen the sequel and is tremendously high on it, is now one of the bidders.)

Pattinson hasn’t been seen on the big-screen since 2022’s The Batman and will return in January 2025 with Bong Joon Ho’s Mickey 17.

Finn is repped by CAA, Grandview, and Jackoway Austen. Pattinson is repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment, and CurtisBrown Group.

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