Blumhouse founder Jason Blum and his fellow horror maestro James Wan (the vision behind Atomic Monster) were the talk of the town on Wednesday when news broke that they were in advance talks to merge their production companies.
So when the duo had a quick run-in on the red carpet on Thursday night at the American Cinematheque awards, where Blum and Blumhouse were set to be honored with the Power of Cinema Award, there was much hubbub to be had.
“The industry reaction to our hopeful future together was really everything I hoped for,” Blum told News Brig after saying hello to Wan. “And most importantly, the fans went crazy.”
“That was really what I wanted, most of all,” the power producer continued. “But the industry was excited; the directors that we work with were excited; the company, our staff was excited, so it was everything that I’d hoped.”
If the deal goes through, Blum and Wan will formally combine their horror empires, bringing such franchises as “Halloween,”“Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge” (for Blumhouse) and “The Conjuring” and “Saw” franchises (for Wan and Atomic Monster) under one roof.
The companies have already collaborated on the “Insidious” franchise and the upcoming film “M3gan,” a thriller about an artificial intelligence doll, which immediately went viral online. Universal is releasing the film on Jan. 6, 2023.
Blumhouse is currently under a first look deal with Universal, which would extend to Atomic Monster assuming that the deal closes. Wan’s first-look deal with Warner Bros. ended earlier this year after nearly a decade.
Blum is hopeful that the formal alliance will afford the companies the opportunity to expand their output exponentially.
“The destination that I’m really hoping for is that we’re making a few more theatrical movies a year,” Blum explained. “Instead of two or three, we’re making five or six.”
He added: “But more importantly than more, is that they’re better and great. I think he and I, in the past, have worked incredibly well together at not just making movies, but making great, scary, classic movies. So that’s my hope in the future.”
Before accepting the special honor, presented by Hill Valley, on behalf of the company, Blum explained how he defines the “power of cinema.”
“Stories are able to change our views about things and open our minds to things and give us experiences we haven’t necessarily had, hopefully make us more empathetic, more understanding of other people’s positions,” Blum said. “I think there’s almost nothing better at doing that than stories, and in this case, the movies.”