I am fully aware that most horror fans likely don’t follow the ins and outs of the business side of the movie business the same way I do. That being said, Blumhouse is a name that even casual horror fans are familiar with, as Jason Blum’s production company has dominated the horror space for nearly two decades now. Another big name? James Wan, the director of Saw and The Conjuring, as well as blockbusters like Aquaman, who also runs the big production company Atomic Monster. Well, it looks like both of those big companies are about to get bigger, as Blumhouse and Atomic Monster are on the verge of a merger. Holy shit.
As reported by The New York Times, Blum and Wan are in advanced negotiations to merge their companies. Blum would retain a majority stake in Blumhouse, while Wan would also take a significant stake, joining NBCUniversal as a major stakeholder in the company. Atomic Monster, meanwhile, would operate as an independent shingle within the larger company. In other words, the most successful horror producer of our time would be under the same roof as one of the most successful directors of our day, combining forces hugely. Again I say, holy shit.
So, what would this marriage of the two great horror minds mean? In essence, a yin and yang partnership for the ages. “James is probably 70 to 80 percent artist and 30 to 20 percent business person, and I am the reverse,” Blum said before adding, “I don’t have one idea to turn into a horror movie. Not one. I built a business by recognizing great ideas from other people.” Meanwhile, Wan, who created the Saw franchise (with Saw 10 coming next year) and helped turn The Conjuring universe into a multi-billion-dollar behemoth, is overflowing with ideas. “I have so many ideas — so many ideas — more than I can handle by myself,” he said.
While the deal is far from done, the two speaking on the record about it indicated that things are headed in that direction. They have also brought Universal executives Donna Langley and Jimmy Horowitz into the picture. So yeah, it’s getting serious. Wan had nothing but great things to say about Universal adding, “Universal is very supportive of filmmakers and brilliant at marketing. To have partners that trust you, that believe in you, that goes a long way.”
Blumhouse currently has a first-look deal with Universal that runs through 2024, while Wan still does a lot of work with Warner Bros., as he’s currently finishing Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, not to mention producing movies like The Nun 2. But, should this deal close, it would be Blum and Wan against the world, opening up seemingly endless possibilities. Theatrical releases, streaming, TV, you name it. The combined forces would open up lots of avenues. Not to mention the talent they could attract.
It’s also worth noting before putting a button on this that Blum and Wan have worked together very successfully in the past. For one, Wan directed Insidious, produced by Blumhouse, which turned into a hugely successful franchise. A fifth installment is on the way next year. They also have the wild-looking M3GAN, which has become a viral sensation thanks to the trailer. These collaborations, it turns out, may have paved the way for something much, much bigger. Stay tuned.