DE PALMA IN PRE-PRODUCTION ON 'LIGHTS OUT'
THRILLER - BLIND CHINESE GIRL CAUGHT IN PLOT TO EXPOSE ASSASSINATION PROGRAM - USES HEIGHTENED SENSES TO FIGHT BACKVariety's Patrick Frater
posted an exclusive this morning, announcing that Brian De Palma
is currently in pre-production on a new thriller, Lights Out
, which previously had Xavier Gens
attached to direct. "The film is the story of a blind Chinese girl unknowingly caught in a plot to expose a top-secret assassination program," writes Frater. "Although blind, she is able to use her other heightened senses to fight back and become a hero." Deadline's Patrick Hipes
adds another element to that description, writing that the film "centers on a blind Chinese girl unknowingly caught in a plot to expose a top-secret assassination program, and who raises unsettling questions about government secrecy and what can and can’t be seen." A year ago, when Gens had been attached, The Hollywood Reporter's Clifford Coonan
described the film as a "female superhero movie" that "tells of a young blind girl who lives alone with her seeing eye dog in her family’s secluded mansion after the suspicious death of her father during a Secret Service operation. Russian gangsters break in, and she is forced to make use of the fighting skills taught to her by her father."
According to Frater, "Casting is currently underway for top roles, including an A-list Chinese actress to star as the female action hero lead." According to Frater, the film will be "the first to be made by Aurora Alliance Films the joint venture banner between Huace, one of China’s leading TV producers, and Sydney- and Los Angeles-based Arclight. The joint venture company was announced in September with a $300 million slate of high concept action pictures."
Aurora Alliance's Ying Ye is quoted in the Variety article: "De Palma is a proven master of suspense; in the hands of the legendary director, Lights Out promises to be a thriller for the ages, full of empowering messages, harrowing plot turns and great action sequences."
The film was written by Lamont Magee and Jeff W. Byrd. De Palma's Redacted producers, Jennifer Weiss and Simone Urdl of the Film Farm, are listed by Frater as co-producers, along with Huace Media Group; Ye of Aurora Alliance; Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, and Elliot Tong of Arclight.