Strangers Director Hears Mockingbird

Bertino stumbles upon some found footage

Since The Strangers was a surprise hit back in 2008, we might have expected its director to jump straight back behind the camera. What would Bryan Bertino do next, we wondered. The answer is a lot of writing and producing, but he's now finally set to direct again, with a found-footage affair tentatively titled Mockingbird.

We've known Bertino was working on the screenplay since November, but this is the first we've heard that he'll be directing it himself. The film involves a couple who mysteriously receive a videocamera and a list of explicit instructions that they have to follow to prevent somebody dying. Which is sort of like getting one of those annoying emails from an idiot friend telling you to forward it to sixty other people to prevent armageddon. Except with this you have to go through a hellish ordeal (and presumably film it) rather than just tut and hit delete.

Bertino wrote an interesting-sounding sequel to The Strangers which is currently struggling through development, and is also attached in some capacity to Grim Night, which is growing out of a fake trailer by Brandon Bestenheider and Allen Bey. He has at least four other screenplays percolating, and the indie drama Plastic Jesus, which he scripted and co-produced with director Erica Dunton, is currently in post-production.

Mockingbird is being produced by Paranormal Activity's Jason Blum (and BD point out that Mockingbird was also the working title for Paranormal Activity, so that moniker is definitely subject to change). There's no indication in Shock's story of whether Blum is here operating under the Haunted Films banner that he runs with Oren Peli, or whether he's going it alone for this one.

Whatever the arrangement behind the scenes, Mockingbird's casting is currently underway, and shooting is set to start at the end of February.