"8MM" producer Gavin Polone is re-teaming with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker ("Se7en") for "Psycho Killer," a suspense film from StudioCanal that will also reunite the company with "The Last Exorcism" creators Eli Roth and Eric Newman, who will produce the picture, an individual familiar with the project has confirmed to TheWrap.
Polone will make his directorial debut with the serial killer thriller, which follows a nameless, masked murderer who leaves a trail of victims across the U.S. During a chance encounter in Nebraska, he slays a highway patrolman while his young wife, a fellow officer, watches from afar. She sets out to find the killer as he plans his next masterpiece — a mass murder that will guarantee him a triumphant entry into hell.
Deviating from the "found footage" gimmick employed in "The Last Exorcism," the first 20% of "Psycho Killer" will follow the title character before the storyline splits and follows the paths of the cop and the killer until the characters converge in a bloody climax.
The project is in the midst of casting, and the producers expect to land a rising female actress who audiences are familiar with, but don't know as a star just yet.
"Psycho Killer" will have a budget in the $13-17 million range, a considerably higher figure than "The Last Exorcism," which cost under $2 million en route to a $41 million domestic haul.
Roth and Newman brought the project to StudioCanal, which will fully finance the film, just as it did with "The Last Exorcism." The company will be selling worldwide rights to the project at the American Film Market.
Production is expected to begin in late spring in Michigan.
Polone, who recently produced the surprise hit "Zombieland," previously worked with Walker on David Fincher's "Panic Room," in which the screenwriter had a brief cameo as one of Jodie Foster's sleepy neighbors.