By Drew Taylor | The Playlist January 11, 2012 at 7:08PM
Apparently Brad Parker, who has just made his debut on the Orin Pelli-produced post-apocalyptic thriller "The Diary of Lawson Oxford," left quite an impression. Variety reports he'll soon graduate to a much larger-scale action movie for Bad Robot and producers J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves. (Parker, a visual effects vet, directed second unit on Reeves' underrated gem "Let Me In.") The untitled actioner will be released by Paramount Pictures, with a script by Michael Gilio (one of a thousand people who wrote a draft of "Carter Beats the Devil").
Reeves has always been an integral part of the Bad Robot crew (without officially becoming a member), having grown up with Abrams. That story that was trotted out last summer about Abrams restoring Steven Spielberg's old student films when he was a kid? Well, Reeves was the other kid who helped out. Later, Reeves and Abrams co-created the long-running WB drama series "Felicity," before Abrams tasked Reeves with directing the high concept found-footage monster movie "Cloverfield" in 2008. Since then, Reeves directed the very Abrams-esque "Let Me In," using several of the Bad Robot principles (including composer Michael Giacchino) and flourishes (super-thick futura font for the title card).
Parker, Variety notes, was a highly touted music video and commercial director who later moved to work in visual effects for effects house Digital Domain (at a time when both James Cameron and Stan Winston were highly involved with the studio), supervizing the groundbreaking effects for David Fincher's "Fight Club." His "Diary of Lawson Oxford," one of several high profile films the "Paranormal Activity" director Pelli has in the production pipeline (along with Rob Zombie's "Lords of Salem" and Barry Levinson's "The Bay"), is about survivors of a nuclear holocaust who have to hide out in a ghost town. Double spooky!
Gilio has previously written the Black List-approved "Bitterroot," which at one point Gore Verbinski was going to direct, a kind of existential western about a rancher who is swindled out of his life savings by a crooked bank and vows revenge (#OccupyTheWest?) Verbinski is now producing that project (with our favorite Megan Ellison), which should mark the feature debut of Chris Milk, who we just noted is still supposed to do the movie version of that crazy Danger Mouse/Daniele Luppi album "Rome."
Whatever this Parker/Abrams/Reeves project ends up being, we're pretty jazzed. Paramount must be too, seeing as another Abrams-produced action movie, Brad Bird's ridiculously amazing "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," is closing in on a $500 million worldwide gross. And if you think that's due to anything but the genius team up of Bird and Abrams, you deserve to self destruct.