Producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions continues to successfully churn out top notch horror projects left, right and center. But not only that he is has been able to help carve out a number of new horror franchises that keeps audiences flocking back to theatres. Horror prequel ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ hits theatres later this week and we managed to score some time with the man himself to discuss the new prequel along with his other projects currently lined up.
Richard: Hi Jason, thanks for speaking to us today. I saw Ouija: Origin of Evil this morning and I really enjoyed it.
Jason: Thank you very much.
Richard: I wanted to start by asking you how you got director and scriptwriter Mike Flanagan on board, he did such a great job with the atmosphere and tension.
Jason: This is our third collaboration which started with Oculus and Hush. Mike did quite a bit of work on the first Ouija movie and we really wanted to go straight to him for the sequel. We were open to do whatever he wanted, to do a prequel and make it period and we supported his vision on that.
Richard: Do you have any more projects planned with Mike?
Jason: Well we have a couple but one is coming out in early 2017 called Gerald’s Game, It’s based on the Stephen King novel and it’s something Stephen has been trying to get made for a long time.
Jason: Do they still sell the Hasbro Ouija boards in the US?
Jason: Yes they do, do they have them in the UK?
Richard: We do but they’re not sold as children’s toys! Would you call it a board game?
Jason: A board…something..!
Richard: It struck me as quite an unusual way to use product placement as the board is the star of the movie, can you tell me more about working with Hasbro?
Jason: Well we wanted to do a film about a spirit board so we looked into getting the rights. When you talk about ‘speaking to ghosts’ the Hasbro Ouija board is the first thing you think about and the process of getting the film made was deeply organic because of that. We made the film with Hasbro and they were involved with the production and marketing of the film. Hasbro has a TV and film production company, Brian Goldner, CEO of Hasbro is a real movie lover, he’s produced the Transformers movie and his focus is on content based around Hasbro brands.
RM Could the film be a warning not to use the board?
Jason: You’d better think twice before you pull that Ouija board out! In some territories, I don’t think the UK they’re not available as I think people are scared of them and won’t stock them in their stores.
Richard: I’ve only seen them here in Spiritualist shops but I’ve seen online Hasbro have sold pink boards and I wonder whether you ever discussed pursuing a different aspect of the Hasbro Ouija story with the characters contacting positive spirits?
Jason: I think we’ll work that into the third movie if we get that far!
Richard: (Scoop!) You have plenty of horror projects in the pipeline, what are you most excited about?
Jason: That’s like asking me which is my favourite kid! I’m definitely excited about M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, coming out early in 2017, it’s a really great thriller harking back to Sixth Sense, it’s really in that vein. There’s also a great movie by Jordan Peele called Get Out. It’s driving a lot of people crazy which I love to do. It’s super original and it’s very odd.
Richard: If you had the freedom to pick any horror film for the remake treatment what would it be and what would you change?
Jason: I’d love to remake Friday the 13th but they’re already doing that at Platinum Dunes, I’ve missed the boat! The other remake I’ve always wanted to do was Halloween and I’m really pleased we’re doing it. It’s going to be amazing when we’ve figured it out.
Richard: Am I right in thinking John Carpenter’s involved?
Jason: He’s directly involved, we’re trying to get him to do the music and we’ve been talking a lot about all the different directions we could take it. I think it’s going to be a home run.
Richard: Jason, thank you for speaking to Horror Asylum it’s been a pleasure.