A series version of the iconic horror film “Poltergeist” is currently in early development at Amazon MGM Studios, Variety has learned exclusively.
No writer is currently attached to the project. Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will executive produce on behalf of Amblin Television. Amblin produced the original 1982 film, with Steven Spielberg having come up with the story, co-writing the screenplay, and producing it. There are no plot details to share at this time, beyond the fact the show will be set within the world of the film.
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“Poltergeist” centered on the Freeling family, who move into a new home only to discover that it is infested with a horde of ghosts. After the ghosts kidnap their young daughter, the Freelings work with a parapsychologist and a spiritual medium to free their daughter and escape the ghosts.
The original film proved to be a major success upon release. It grossed approximately $121 million worldwide against a reported budget of $10.7 million. It was also nominated for three Academy Awards — best visual effects, best sound effects editing, and best original score.
Two sequels followed in 1986 and 1988. Zelda Rubinstein, who played medium Tangina Barrons, and Heather O’Rourke, who played Carol Anne Freeling, were the only cast members to appear in all three films. A reboot of the original film was released in 2015.
Should the Amazon MGM Studios project move forward, it would be the second television show set in the “Poltergeist” world. The series “Poltergeist: The Legacy” aired on Showtime for three seasons before airing a fourth and final season on Sci-Fi Channel in 1999. The show followed a worldwide group known as The Legacy as they protected mankind from supernatural dangers.
This also marks the latest attempt by Amazon to adapt well-known MGM IP since acquiring the storied studio. The streaming arm of the online retail giant is already at work on new projects based on properties like “Robocop,” “Legally Blonde,” “Barbershop,” and more. Variety recently exclusively reported that a series set in the world of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” at the studio had found its showrunner, while a series based on the book “Glossy” and the Glossier company is also in the works among several other projects.
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