Progress on the the sequel to Oren Peli's Paranormal Activity took a step backward after Lionsgate yanked Saw VI director Kevin Greutert off the project by exercising a contractual option that forced Greutert to direct Saw VII instead. With both Saw VII and Paranormal Activity 2 sharing the same release date of October 22, the move was a measured uppercut to Paramount's prized Paranormal franchise, which Lionsgate blamed for Saw VI's poor box office performance.
With Greutert already working on Saw VII, Paramount is looking to counter Lionsgate by hiring a "big name" director. According to the LA Times, Paramount has narrowed its choices down to three directors: Australian director Greg McLean (whose Rogue introduced audiences to Sam Worthington), Brad Anderson (who directed the truly scary Session 9), and legendary director Brian De Palma (Carrie, Scarface). At one point, Paramount was even talking to Akiva Goldsman, the Academy-Award winning screenwriter of A Beautiful Mind, to helm the project, proving that Paramount is pushing for a more polished director for their follow-up to their low-budget original.
Whichever choice Paramount makes, it's clear that the competition over who will win the weekend of October 22 is far from over.