Jon Watts, director of the three most recent “Spider-Man” films — including the record-shattering “Spider-Man: No Way Home” — has joined New Line’s “Final Destination 6” as a producer for HBO Max.
Craig Perry, the original producer of the previous five “Final Destination” installments, returns to produce the new sequel with Sheila Hanahan Taylor. In addition to Watts, Dianne McGunigle also joins the producing team.
“Both Dianne and I have been massive fans of ‘Final Destination’ from the very beginning,” said Watts in a statement. “So to be able to have a hand in crafting a new story with the original team and New Line is going to be both fun and exciting.”
“Jon and Dianne’s passion for the series is only matched by how much fun they are to work with,” Perry added. “Sheila and I couldn’t be more excited to have their creative energy driving this latest installment in the ‘Final Destination’ franchise with New Line. With Guy and Lori’s inspired execution of Jon’s original idea, we have a movie that audiences are gonna love.”
Lori Evans Taylor and Guy Busick are writing the screenplay from a story by Jon Watts based on his treatment. Busick is also a writer on “Scream,” which opens in theaters this weekend.
The hit “Final Destination” film franchise has earned nearly $700 million worldwide to date making it New Line’s third biggest horror franchise behind the record-breaking $2 billion plus “The Conjuring” Universe and $1 billion plus “IT” films. New Line remains a vanguard of the horror genre with “Salem’s Lot” and “Evil Dead Rise” releasing in 2022, with “Salem’s Lot” going the theatrical route and “Evil Dead Rise” premiering on HBO Max.
The “Final Destination” films are unique to the horror genre because the antagonist is not a physical being, but Death personified. In the first entry in the franchise, released in 2000, Devon Sawa starred as a teenager who deboarded a plane after having a vision of a crash, only to then be chased by Death who felt cheated by his actions. The 2000 film spawned four sequels, with the most recent installment, “Final Destination 5,” hitting theaters in 2011.
In addition to Sawa, the “Final Destination” films have starred Ali Larter, Seann William Scott, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, among many more. James Wong, David R. Ellis and Steven Quale directed the previous films.
Watts’ third “Spider-Man” film continues to surpass box office records on a scale unmatched in the pandemic era. December’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” one of only four live-action superhero movies to earn the coveted A+ CinemaScore, has swung its way to the 6th highest grossing film domestically and 8th highest grossing film of all time worldwide at over $1.53 billion and counting. The three Watts-directed Spider-Man movies, which also includes “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” together have grossed a whopping $3.5 billion worldwide.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” landed the second-highest domestic opening in history and passed $1 billion worldwide in little more than a week, topping the domestic weekend box office for the last four weekends running.
Watts is repped by CAA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole LLP. Busick is repped by A3 Artists Agency, Gotham Group and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Taylor is repped by ICM Partners, Kaplan/Perrone and McKuin Frankel Whitehead LLP