Paranormal, the Paramount horror movie series, is being adapted for a stage play in London’s West End, thanks to Simon Friend Entertainment. Friend, best known as the producer of Life of Pi on Broadway, has secured licensing rights for the adaptation, which will be scripted by Levi Holloway, who wrote Grey House also for Broadway.
Originally created by Oren Peli, who wrote and directed the first film in the series, Paranormal Activity narrates the spooky tales of families plagued by demons and other supernatural occurrences. From 2009 to 2021, seven movies have been released, variously directed by Tod Williams, Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, Christopher Landon, Gregory Plotkin, and William Eubank.
The series was lauded for its skillful and innovative use of cellphone and security camera video to tell the story through “found footage.” Together, the films were highly profitable ventures, with a worldwide gross approaching $900 million against relatively low budgets. The first one alone grossed some $193.4 million.
Released in 2021, the most recent in the series, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, was directed by William Eubank from a script by Christopher Landon. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Next of Kin skipped theatrical release and was live-streamed on Paramount+. It featured a teenaged girl named Margot who was trying to make a documentary film that would uncover supernatural doings in an Amish community.
In addition to the Life of Pi, Friend has successfully brought other film adaptations to the New York and London stages, including The Da Vinci Code and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. He also produced The Father, which won Anthony Hopkins an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Levi Holloway, affiliated with the Steppenwolf Theatre, also cofounded the Neverbird Project, which brought together deaf and hearing young people in theater activities. Holloway’s Grey House opened in Chicago and debuted on Broadway earlier this year. It is set in a cabin occupied by an elderly woman and her teenaged girls, in which a couple take shelter during a blizzard.
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