Welcome, Atom Insider readers to Donato’s Dungeon! Isn’t chasing news headlines a grueling and exhausting task? Ever wonder where you can get all the week’s biggest headlines in one easy-to-find place? That’s why I’m here, armed with a chainsaw and machete to slice through the week’s onslaught of horror news to find the most notable happenings in our genre community. Let’s see what sights I have to show you…

1. ‘Friday The 13th’ Lawsuit Puts The Horror Icon Back On Ice

Those of you who’ve been following the legal battle over Friday The 13th proprietary rights know that writer Victor Miller won a lawsuit last October that gave him the rights to push forward with future projects (movies, the halted video game, anything). Since then, Sean Cunningham and Horror Inc. (the company that owns Jason Voorhees) filed an appeal. Well, squash any excitement about a Friday the 13th reboot since said appeal has been awarded, meaning it’s right back into red-tape litigation once again for Jason. Until Miller and Cunningham/Horror Inc. can figure their differences out, or a final winner emerges, it looks like Jason will have to watch horror cinema move on from the sidelines.

Check out the video above from Slash N’ Cast for the full details on this latest Friday The 13th case update.

2. Wesley Snipes To Battle Zombies In ‘Outbreak Z’

Sorry, Blade fans. Wesley Snipes has signed on to produce and star in Chris Brewster’s zombie action flick Outbreak Z, meaning no vampire slaying in his near future. A fun note here is that Brewster’s been a stunt coordinator for such Marvel products as Daredevil, Black Panther, plus Ant-Man And The Wasp. Sure it’s his directorial debut so anything can happen, but here’s hoping Brewster highlights his fight choreography expertise as Snipes plays one of “two SWAT officers on a desperate hunt through an overrun college campus in search of a man who holds a vaccine to a zombie virus.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

3. Colin Farrell Eyed For New ‘Constantine’ Movie

Take this rumor with a glacial-sized grain of salt because that’s what it is, a rumor, but supposedly the WB is eyeing Colin Farrell for a Constantine reboot. Matt Ryan currently plays the role on Legends Of Tomorrow, and Keanu Reeves recently stated his desire to reprise his cinematic portrayal, but if whispers are true, then Farrell is next up to don the trenchcoat. Stay tuned for more…

Source: We Got This Covered

4. ‘The Babadook: LGBT Pride Edition’ Is Now On Sale

Remember when the internet shipped the Babadook as a gay icon? Well, the good people at Shout! Factory, in partnership with IFC Midnight, designed special edition rainbow box art for Jennifer Kent’s chilling debut in honor of Pride Month! To further celebrate, Shout! Factory is donating a percentage of all sales during the month of June to the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Only 2,500 copies were made, so if you want your variant The Babadook, order now!

5. CW Seed Announces Anthology Series ‘Two Sentence Horror Stories’

This August, CW Seed will launch its new horror anthology show Two Sentence Horror Stories with a back-to-back episode premiere. Under Creator and Executive Producer Vera Miao, episodes will draw from stories told with only a handful of words (check out some examples).

Inspired by the viral fan fiction of two sentence horror stories, this anthology series taps into universal primal fears, filtered through the anxieties of the most connected and racially diverse generation.

After clicking through just a few two sentence chillers, I get the appeal. It’ll be interesting to see these snippets of terror develop into something more substantial, something as easy as: “My sister says that mommy killed her. Mommy says that I don’t have a sister.”

Source: Deadline

6. Blumhouse To Shake Some Horror Out Of Mattel’s Magic 8 Ball Toy

Blumhouse and Mattel are allowing the team behind Truth Or Dare, led by director Jeff Wadlow, to make a live-action Magic 8 Ball thriller. Press notes say the movie will be “suspense-filled.” Hopefully it’ll also be markedly better than Truth Or Dare?

Source: Deadline

7. FX Gettin’ Witchy Wit’ It With ‘Speaks The Nightbird’ Series Order

Unfriended: Dark Web writer/director Stephen Susco has been tapped by FX to script a series based on Robert McCammon’s novel Speaks the Nightbird. As per the synopsis:

In the Carolinas of 1699, a traveling magistrate and his clerk, Matthew, arrive in Fount Royal to hold a trial for an accused witch, a beautiful young woman named Rachel Howarth, a trial that reveals that Fount Royal has become a battleground between good and evil and that not even the innocent are safe.

Supernatural black magic dressed in period settings seems to be all the rage these days, so what’s one more production? We’ll see if FX moves ahead with Susco’s crack, or if it’ll be ultimately passed on.

Source: Deadline

8. ‘Satanic Panic’ Gets A September Release

Hot off its world premiere at Overlook Film Festival, Chelsea Stardust’s Satanic Panic has been picked up by RLJE Films for a September 6, 2019 release. Under Fangoria’s production arm, you can expect some pretty gruesome effects thrown into as bougie Satanists attempt to summon an antichrist equivalent. Maybe even a whirring, mechanical “killdo.” It’s got some issues, but midnight movie fans with a serious buzz should find entertainment as a pizza girl fights for her life after being stiffed her tip.

9. New Regency To Tame ‘The Hawkline Monster’

Richard Brautigan’s novel The Hawkline Monster has sought adaptation since 1975 when Hal Ashby acquired the rights. At one point Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood were set to play “two unlikely hero gunslingers hired by a 15-year-old girl named Magic Child to kill the monster that lives in ice caves under the basement of a house inhabited by a young woman named Miss Hawkline.” After multiple rewrites, deaths of creators, and passages of time, New Regency finally snagged the rights out of purgatory with intent to deliver. No details on the “whens” and “hows” yet, but I’m always here for another horror Western!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

10. ‘Halloween’ Sequel Update

Jamie Lee Curtis and Jason Blum are “discussing stuff.” That is all.

11. Brian Tyree Henry Joins ‘A Quiet Place 2’

Brian Tyree Henry’s stock has been skyrocketing, with the actor’s latest role pitting him against Chucky 2.0 in MGM’s Child’s Play remake. We now have confirmation that Henry’s horror credits add one more to the tally, given his recent negotiations to join A Quiet Place 2. He joins Cillian Murphy as a newcomer to John Krasinski’s sequel.

Source: TheWrap

12. Chucky Kills Another ‘Toy Story 4’ Character

The Child’s Play marketing team really has it out for Toy Story 4 (given the films open on the same day). In the latest mock poster, Buzz Lightyear ain’t going to infinity – just the great beyond.

13. ‘Swamp Thing’ Canceled After One Season

Those of you who purchased the DC Universe streaming service just for Swamp Thing, I’ve got bad news. After only one episode aired, DC has already canceled the entire series. Kaput. No more. Reports have been circulating about possible production woes during filming, even before the finale was shot, citing creative differences between making a horror-first Swamp Thing or more basic weekly procedural. After watching two episodes at the Overlook Film Festival, I can say the product is a less-than-happy medium of the two, but those referenced horror elements work ACES. With James Wan as a producer, why not push for the feature treatment version focusing on those murky nightmare notes?

Source: Geeks WorldWide

14. Orion Snags Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s ‘Svalta’

It’s been confirmed that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have sold their next project under the duo’s Stolen Picture production banner, a remote destination thriller titled Svalta. Frost is said to be writing the screenplay with Stolen Picture’s James Serafinowicz and Nat Saunders. The plot will follow a family vacationing on the fictional Swedish island of Svalta, only to find out there’s a serial killer on the loose. Orion’s team say the story is “scary, awesome and crazy, and [Pegg and Frost’s] unique voice is perfect for this movie.” Count me in.

Source: Deadline

15. ‘Escape Room 2’ Pushes Release Date Four Months

Originally slated for April 17, 2020, Escape Room 2 will now be released August 14, 2020. I think it’s worth noting because the push suggests Sony has a lot of faith in their attraction-based horror sequel. August is typically a “dead” summer month, but hey, horror’s good business no matter when you release it. One more reason to visit an air-conditioned movie theater.

Source: ERCBoxOffice

16. Wanna Play…A Free ‘Child’s Play’ Game?

The Child’s Play marketing team is going ALL. OUT. to sell tickets, now including a free downloadable Pac-Man knockoff called Escape Zedmart with pre-ordered ticket sales. Collect token items while avoiding a stab-happy Chucky. Maybe it’s fun? Maybe not? In any case, Orion seems to be pulling out every stop for ticket sales before reviews and reactions hit. This…worries me.

17. Three-Year-Old Throws ‘The Nun’ Themed Birthday Party And Is Way Cooler Than You

This is just…I love it. A perfect Friday feeling. Be yourself. Do what you want. This kid is a treasure and I hope she has many more horror-themed birthdays to come.

And Now…This Week’s Horror Trailers!


Tralier #2 for Scary Stories brings the creeps and spooks in spades. I’m very here for whatever wicked our way comes, especially Harold.


I feel like there’s a new Child’s Play remake clip, featurette, or trailer every stinkin’ day. Save some content for the actual film?


Walton Goggins, snake charmers, and an isolated cult. I am WILDLY intrigued by Them That Follow.


Pollyanna McIntosh’s directorial debut and follow-up to Lucky McKee’s The Woman has a trailer! I love The Woman. I wasn’t as in love with Darlin’ at SXSW, but happy to give it a second chance upon theatrical release July 12th.


Two couples find themselves butting heads during the zombie apocalypse whilst hiding in a single apartment. Cocaine, handguns, and the dude from Borgman? Sold.


Escape room horror was not founded by Escape Room, but after the mainstream horror flick’s success, expect a heavy influx of such content. With that, here’s Play Or Die.


What happens when you’re nice to strangers? They drug you, kidnap you, and make molds of your face. Lesson learned!


Barry Kay wrote and direct a horror movie called Ashes. Here’s the first trailer! Even cremation can’t keep the dead from coming back sometimes…


Lil’ bit of nun-based demonic horror for y’all this week!


With timing that coincides with Pride Month, Killer Unicorn will be available on VOD/DVD July 9th. Check out the trailer for a taste of this schlocky LGBT indie horror flick.


Dee Wallace stars in a killer puppets movie that looks to have some low-tier Puppet Master sequel vibes and not much else.

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