Award-winning writer/director Chloe Okuno will helm Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s upcoming psych thriller ‘Watcher’, an original spec by tyro screenwriter Zack Ford.
‘Watcher’ is set in the midst of a citywide panic over an active serial killer. A young woman moves into a new apartment with her fiancé only to be tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by an unseen watcher in an adjacent building.
The film is the first in a multi-picture slate deal between the Academy Award-winning Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Spooky Pictures, the low-budget genre label recently formed by producers Roy Lee (‘It’, ‘The Ring’, ‘The Strangers’) and Steven Schneider (‘Insidious’, ‘Split’, ‘Pet Sematary’). ‘Watcher’ is currently being cast in preparation for an April shoot and will be produced by Aaron Kaplan, Sean Perrone, Mason Novick, and John Finemore in addition to Lee and Schneider. Marc Bienstock, Derek Dauchy, and Stuart Manashil will Executive Produce. Nancy Nayor is casting.
Chief Content Officer of Image Nation, Ben Ross, said: “We are pleased to announce our first production under our partnership with horror film heavyweights Roy Lee and Steven Schneider, and we are honored to have an amazing talent such as Chloe Okuno on board to direct.
“This production and our ongoing partnership signifies Image Nation’s continued journey into the international marketplace, and we are excited to create more dark genre titles with great potential for lucrative franchises.”
Schneider previously collaborated with Image Nation Abu Dhabi as Producer on the Middle East-based company’s dystopian Arab thriller ‘The Worthy’ in 2016. He said: “It’s fantastic to get back into production with Image Nation, a truly supportive partner. I look forward to working with Chloe Okuno, and to seeing what her incredible talent will bring to this great script.”
Added Lee: “This is an exciting time for dark genre films, and we believe ‘Watcher’ has tremendous potential.”
Okuno’s award-winning horror short ‘Slut’ was directed as a thesis project for the American Film Institute graduate program and garnered praise at festivals around the country. She has since been hired to write Orion’s remake of the 1977 supernatural thriller ‘Audrey Rose’.
Okuno is repped by Verve, Circle of Confusion, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer. Ford, whose ‘Watcher’ script appeared on The Blood List in 2016, is repped by UTA and Novo Entertainment.