The Producers Of BARBARIAN Are Setting Up Shop At New Line Cinema

J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules have signed a first-look deal at the house that Freddy built.

By Ryan Scott · @RyanScottWrites · January 30, 2023, 6:56 PM EST
BECKY (2020)

The folks behind the low-budget horror studio BoulderLight Pictures now have a new home at New Line Cinema. Indeed, the house built by J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules, who produced last year's surprise hit Barbarian, have signed a first-look deal with the massive studio owned by Warner Bros., according to The Hollywood Reporter. One imagines they will produce movies with slightly larger budgets from here on out.

Lifshitz and Margules have been at it for a little over a decade, having founded BoulderLight in 2012 with their first film, the ultra-low-budget Contracted, arriving in 2013. Produced for just $50,000, the film kind of put them on the map, and they have produced around 20 features since, including the likes of Becky and the acclaimed Wild Indian. Though none of these movies really crossed over into the mainstream until Barbarian took the world by storm last year. Produced for $4.5 million, the critically-beloved, twisted flick ended up taking in more than $45 million worldwide. That put the duo and director Zach Cregger on the map in a big way. Lifshitz and Margules had this to say in a joint statement about the deal.

"We have long referenced New Line Cinema as the gold standard of genre entertainment and are incredibly grateful to be moving into the 'House that Freddy Built.' It is truly a dream come true to get to work alongside so many people we genuinely admire, and we are elated to help continue the New Line legacy and remind people why they love going to the movies."

Indeed, New Line has quite the reputation in the genre world, dating back to A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. The studio also produced Stephen King's It, the highest-grossing horror movie in history, as well as the ongoing Conjuring universe, which will continue with The Nun 2 later this year. The idea is to have BoulderLight produce "high-concept, filmmaker-driven genre stories" for New Line/Warner Bros. in the coming years. New Line president and chief creative officer Richard Brener had this to add:

"J.D. and Rafi share a passion for cinema that puts the audience first. They have a proven ability to identify and champion stories and filmmakers that transcend genre, and no one works harder or faster as evidenced by the fact they set up a go movie with us before even moving into their offices. We couldn't be more excited to partner with them."

As for what comes next? Lifshitz and Margules already have a flashy new movie set. They will reunite with Cregger for a mysterious new horror flick titled Weapons at New Line/Warner Bros. Production is expected to kick off in July, which should keep them busy for a bit. But this figures to be the tip of the iceberg. Keep your eyes peeled, as this deal is sure to bear even more fruit sooner rather than later.

Weapons does not yet have a release date.