‘Insidious: Chapter 3′: Leigh Whannell to direct spooky sequel

May 07, 2014 | 1:36 p.m.
From left, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins and Rose Byrne are back in "Insidious: Chapter 2." (Film District)

From left, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins and Rose Byrne star in “Insidious: Chapter 2.” (Film District)

Leigh Whannell, co-creator of the “Insidious” and “Saw” franchises, will direct “Insidious: Chapter 3,” the third installment in the spooky horror franchise.

Whannell will also write the third film and reprise his role as paranormal investigator Specs, with franchise co-creator James Wan serving as producer along with Jason Blum and “Paranormal Activity” creator Oren Peli.

Wan has stepped away from the horror genre for the time being to direct “Fast & Furious 7,” handing off the reins to the series to his frequent collaborator and film school friend Whannell, who will make his feature directorial debut with the sequel.

Wan tweeted his excitement about his frequent partner taking over, writing, “Wow, @LWhannell is going to outdo me by doing all three roles – writing, directing and acting – in his first film as director!”

A breakout hit, the haunted house tale “Insidious” was the most profitable movie of 2011, earning $97 million worldwide on a budget of around $1 million. The film offered restrained supernatural thrills with its tale of a young family whose son (Ty Simpkins) becomes pursued by a red-faced demon that inhabits a ghostly dimension called the Further.

For last year’s follow-up, Wan and Whannell reunited with “Insidious” cast members Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, Barbara Hershey and Lin Shaye with an eye toward playing up the domestic drama on-screen. The film earned $161 million worldwide.

Production on the new “Insidious” is scheduled to start July 7, with a planned release date of April 3, 2015.

– Patrick Kevin Day | @patrickkevinday

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