Although Zach Cregger has been active in the comedy corner of the entertainment industry for many years, with his credits including The Whitest Kids U' Know, Wrecked and Miss March, last year he made a big splash in the horror realm with Barbarian. The “crazy” flick starring Bill Skarsgård, Georgina Campbell and Justin Long was a critical and commercial success, and we here at CinemaBlend ranked it as one of 2022’s best horror movies. Well, because Barbarian performed so well, Cregger has scored a massive payday for his next horror movie.
It was announced today that New Line Cinema has won the rights Zach Cregger’ upcoming movie Weapons, which the filmmaker is putting together with his Barbarian producing team, i.e. Roy Lee of Vertigo, and J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules of BoulderLight Pictures, and Vertigo’s Miri Yoon is also attached to produce. New Line was one of several parties interested in acquiring Weapons, and following the movie going to market on the morning of January 22, the studio closed negotiations on it earlier this week, with THR’s sources saying that Cregger scored “eight figures” to write and direct. This is in sharp contrast with Barbarian, which 20th Century Studios distributed and was only given a $4 million production budget, though it went on to collect $45 million worldwide.
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But that’s not all! The news outlet also mentioned that as part of Zach Cregger’s deal with New Line Cinema to make Weapons, not only did the movie get a guaranteed greenlight and a guarantee it will be theatrically release, Cregger gets final cut “pending a threshold is met during test screenings,” as well as “a controlling interest in a backend pot.” Furthermore, if Weapons is a hit, then the powers-that-be at New Line/Warner Bros. would aim to keep Cregger around as “a significant horror voice and supplier.” Richard Brener, New Line Cinema's President and Chief Creative Officer, said the following about Cregger making Weapons for the studio:
Zach proved with Barbarian that he can create a visceral theatrical experience for audiences and that he commands every tool in the filmmaker toolbelt. We couldn’t be happier that he, Roy and Miri, and J.D. and Rafi chose New Line to be the home of his next film, and hope it is the first of many to come.
No specific plot details for Weapons have been revealed yet, but the movie is reportedly described as “an interrelated, multistory horror epic that tonally is in the vein” of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. Production is expected to begin later this year, so it might not be too long until we learn who will star in the horror movie. Assuming Weapons doesn’t have to deal with any delays or setbacks, it’ll likely be ready to hit the silver screen in 2024.
We’ll pass along any major updates on Weapons’ progress once they come in, but if you missed out on the insanity that is Barbarian, stream it with HBO Max subscription so you can get in on the conversations about the movie’s wild twists and read our breakdown of the ending. You’re also welcome to get the lay of this year’s cinematic land by looking over the 2023 movie releases.