‘Annihilation’ Filmmaker Alex Garland Has Written a Haunted House Film

Paramount Pictures

Alex Garland will be taking a step away from his usual adult-targeted projects.

The writer-director behind Ex Machina and this year’s Annihilation has written a haunted house script, and a director is attached.

Variety is reporting that TriStar Pictures has acquired the rights to Garland’s spec, The Toymaker’s Secret, which is to be a family film set in London. Actress turned filmmaker Paloma Baeza, whose previous directorial credits include three short films, is on board to direct. Baeza, by the way, is married to Garland.

Garland will also be producing the film alongside Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, and Cara Speller.

The Toymaker’s Secret will follow an American family who move into an old Victorian house in London. They soon begin to believe the house might be haunted.

There aren’t any more details available as yet, but, as per Baeza’s statement below, we do know that the film will incorporate animation.

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The Toymaker’s Secret is an original movie with such heart and humor and magic that it is sure to become an instant classic for the whole family,” Hannah Minghella, TriStar Pictures President, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working with Paloma on her debut feature and with Alex and Andrew who are both long-time friends and creative partners.”

Added Baeza: “We couldn’t be more delighted to begin this adventure with TriStar. Hannah’s enthusiasm and insight are the perfect fit for an exciting collaboration. This project will join my love of animation with a live-action world, and it’s fantastic to be bringing this story to life.”

Apart from Ex Machina and Annihilation, Garland’s screenplay credits include 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go and Dredd.

Universal Pictures