Minnesota WGA screenwriter/FilmNorth member Ken Rance’s movie Thriller, co-written with director Dallas Jackson, has received distribution by Netflix.
The movie was initially sold to Fox 2000 back in 1998 and given the green light for production in Baltimore, MD with a $11.5M budget. Usher and R&B singer Aaliyah were considered for the lead roles. Then the Columbine shootings occurred, and many movie projects depicting any form of school violence were tabled by studio execs, following a congressional hearing on the subject. For 19 years the Thriller script bounced around Hollywood until Dallas Jackson got Divide/Conquer—a subsidiary of Blumhouse Productions (Us, Get Out, The Purge, Whiplash, BlacKkKlansman)—on board.
Thriller was shot for around $1M, contains an all Black and Latinx cast, and takes place in South Central, Los Angeles and Compton, CA. This film addresses the consequences of bullying, teen relationships, and the trauma of poverty and violence from a Black and Latinx perspective.