With the critical and box office success of, first, Split and then Get Out, Blumhouse Productions is having the kind of year companies dream about.
Their momentum isn’t slowing down at all. The company is still committed to tackling unique and diverse stories.
The New York Times Magazine recently did a profile of Jason Blum, the 48-year-old chief executive of Blumhouse Productions. In that profile, there’s a lengthy anecdote about Blum meeting director Dee Rees at meeting in a Bel Air mansion. After exchanging pleasantries about each other’s work — Blum started tearing when talking about Mudbound, the period drama Rees directed — they got down to business.
Rees pitched her idea for a horror movie, centered on two black lesbians in a rural America.
Here’s how the NYTimes described the pitch:
“Rees said she had an idea for her own low-budget horror picture — one location, tiny cast — set in a small town not unlike the one where she has lived for the last year. Blum listened carefully.
‘You’ve got me and my wife, two black lesbians, and when we first moved in, we fought every day over all these little things: ‘Why is this over there? Did you move that?…’ Maybe it was a ghost,’ Rees continued. ‘Or maybe it was some other force — like us not wanting to be there or fitting in.’
According to the article, after Reese pitch her movie, Blum repeatedly reality said:
“The idea of working with you.” He paused. “But anything you want to do, I’m in. I’m in, I’m in, I’m in.”
Now, this may sound like typical Hollywood filibustering, but Ryan Bradley, the journalist who wrote the story, tracked down Rees a couple of weeks later and asked if they had a follow-up meeting. It turns out they did.
They had lunch and went over details about a deal. Speaking on Blum, Reese says:
“I can’t tell you how rare it is that people mean what they say in this business. He’s just letting me make the best possible version of what I want to make.”
We’re still really early in the process, obviously, but it’s clear what kind of movies Blumhouse likes and seems committed to making.