Just when you thought that unfortunate cliff-top finale would be the last you’d hear of “Mama” (subsequent sleepless nights and visions of her creeping up on you in the bathroom notwithstanding), her director Andy Muschietti has swiftly caught a rebound deal after the surprise profitability of the Guillermo del Toro-produced project (which has already prompted talk of a sequel).
To quote Publisher’s Weekly, it will be a narrative of “a blindfolded threesome” – not what you’re thinking – “comprised of a woman and two children who make their way down a river in a seemingly post-apocalyptic setting.” It is purported to recall “The Others” and “Children of Men”, and, judging by its casual dystopian matriarchy, perhaps “Mama” itself. The cryptically-titled “Bird Box”, to which Universal has bought the rights with Muschietti in negotiations to direct, will list Scott Stuber, Chris Morgan and Barbara Muschietti as producers, while the search for screenwriters remains ongoing.
The first novel of guitarist Josh Malerman, “Bird Box” represents an impressive straddling of creative lanes. Completing the rock star/literary star double remains an ever-tantalizing but usually (unless you are Bob Dylan) misguided ambition. The frontman of The High Strung, a niche guitar band formed in a pre-“Girls” Brooklyn -- whose rock credentials were infamously secured upon dumping a tour bus on the steps of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame – Malerman has also reached a six-figure publishing deal for 2014 with Ecco, an imprint of Harper Collins. With no specific release date for the picture to hand, we can take a breath after “Mama”, and give our fingernails a much-needed time-out. [THR]