Universal Pictures has acquired remake rights to Phasma ex Machina, the small independent feature directing debut by Matt Osterman that was the toast of the genre film festival circuit. The studio acquired the project as a pitch for a horror movie called Our House, and the studio has attached Gary Shore to direct the remake and Nathan Parker to write it. John Davis is the producer along with Nick Spicer of XYZ Films. Shore and Parkers are already collaborating on a feature version of Cup of Tears for Universal and Working Title, based on the stylized samurai short film that Shore directed. That short has created heat and prompted Universal to make several deals with him. I’m told that the hope is for Shore to direct Phasma ex Machina, potentially follow with an adaptation of the James Patterson book series Maximum Ride, and then helm a feature version of Cup of Tears.
Phasma ex Machina, which was retitled Ghost From the Machine when it was acquired by Screen Media and released on DVD and VOD, ponders the grey area between life and death and how science can bridge the two. The protagonist is a young man who is raising his little brother after their parents die in a car crash. His desire to bring them back prompts him to invent a machine designed to be a conduit to the grey beyond, and his success proves dangerous to himself and everyone around him. Here is a trailer for the original film, followed by one for Shore’s Cup of Tears.