You'd think being stuck in prison would be a horrible enough situation to generate plenty of dramatic tension and storytelling possibilities. The brutality, the tedium, the driving urge to escape... you could spin a thousand tales out of those concepts and many titles have. But noooooo, Hollywood won't just be satisfied with the mere terror of incarceration; they've got to spice it up. So they add gigantic magical black dudes, or supervillains, or Kurt Russell in an eyepatch. Now there's another "prison+" movie coming down the pike, and New Regency just paid six figures for it off of nothing more than a pitch. That must have been one spooky-good sell.
Deadline is reporting that New Regency picked up Hellbent, a "prison escape movie with supernatural elements" based off screenwriter Aron Eli Coleite's pitch. That description is literally all we know about Hellbent at this point, which isn't unusual this early in a movie's life cycle. How does the supernatural element factor in? Is it another obstacle the would-be escapees have to overcome? Is the prison itself supernatural? Who knows, but with the word "Hell" in the title, you can bet it probably won't be pleasant for those involved. Moreover, with the pitch earning a six-figure payday without even a finished script, presumably the idea has one hell of a hook.
Coleite is on a serious hot streak these past few months. In addition to this new sale of Hellbent, the writer recently sold his apocalyptic science fiction spec script The End to Warner Bros. Hey, if his stuff is good enough to convince studios to overcome their paralyzing fear of original content, more power to him.
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