By Justin Kroll on Deadline

AWA Studios has tapped Elle Callahan to direct a feature film adaptation of the company’s original graphic fiction series HotellShe will also co-adapt the script with Anthony Ruff. AWA Studios president Zach Studin is producing.

“I’m very excited to be working with AWA to adapt John Lees’ terrifying graphic novel Hotell,” Callahan said. “I aim to tell stories that push the horror genre in new directions — and my plan for this piece involves a very unique approach to the storytelling. This horror will feel all too relatable, and no doubt keep you up at night.”

The graphic novel  presents a story of dread and intrigue and a mosaic of characters, set in the mysterious and frightening backdrop of the Pierrot Courts Hotel. It was written by well-known comic book creator Lees, drawn by artist Dalibor Talajic, and edited by AWA co-founder and chief creative officer Axel Alonso.

The story is set at a mysterious roadside hotel where lost souls make their last stand with the demons that haunt them. You won’t find it on a map, but if you happen to be driving down Route 66 late at night and you’re truly desperate for shelter, sanctuary, or secrecy, you might see a battered sign on the side of the road: The Pierrot Courts Hotel – where many will check in, but few will check out.

Hotell has been such a fun, rewarding comic to work on with Dalibor, Lee, Sal and the AWA team. The setting of Pierrot Courts works as a canvas within which you can tell all kinds of different horror stories, from the harrowing to the blackly comic, and introduce all manner of different characters. It’s also a world ripe for new interpretations, and I’m so excited to see how Elle Callahan will bring our haunted hotel to the world of film,” Lees said.

AWA (Artists, Writers & Artisans) is the the creative business that develops and builds community around ground-breaking original stories owned by creators across all forms of media including publishing, film and television. In recent months AWA Studios, the recently launched film and TV studio for AWA, has begun to solidify that slate with unique projects that fit perfectly with the type of stories they want to tell.

“We’re thrilled to pair the brilliant Elle Callahan with the chilling world and surprising confrontations with personal demons that John Lees, Dalibor Talajic, Lee Loughridge & Sal Cipriano so remarkably crafted in Hotell,” said Studin.

Some of those projects includes an adaptation of Old Haunts with Aaron Rabin adapting as well as Chariot, which helped launch the division, and has Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski directing. On top of that AWA studios recently announced a global partnership in TV with Fremantle.

As for Callahan, the up-and-coming filmmaker has been a force as of late following her breakout feature Head Count, which she wrote and directed she wrote and directed. The film premiered at the LA Film Festival and was distributed in the fall of 2018 by Samuel Goldwyn Films. Elle most recently wrapped her latest film Witch Hunt which stars Gideon Adlon and Abigail Cowen and premiered at SXSW.

Callahan is represented by CAA, Grandview, and attorney Marios Rush. AWA are repped by Grandview.

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