Fox nod for M Night Shyamalan’s next

MUMBAI: Filmmaker M Night Shyamalan’ latest script, formerly titled The Green Effect, has been picked up by 20th Century Fox.

The studio has pledged a green light for the movie, and has renamed it The Happening, a thriller that Shyamalan wrote and will direct in Philadelphia in August 2007. Fox has earmarked the film for a June 2008 release, says founder Sheeraz Hasan. The film has an estimated budget of around $57 million.

The Fox deal, spearheaded by Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO Tom Rothman, ends a complex and public process for Shyamalan, who, since The Sixth Sense, had made all his films for Disney. He had a fallout with Disney over his last film Lady in the Water, which led him to make that picture for Warner Bros.

Shyamalan will produce with Sam Mercer, as well as Munich producer Barry Mendel, who produced the Shyamalan-directed The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.

The Happening will be Shyamalan’s first R-rated effort; a paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity.

Shyamalan will prep and shoot The Happening even as he continues to write the script for Avatar: The Last Airbender, a live action film for Paramount, says Hasan.