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Spielberg cans Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Haunted!

Dreamworks have put Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s “Haunted” on indefinite pause.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg didn’t like Fresnadillo’s and writer Scott Z. Burns’ rewrite. The project, which had $5 million invested in it, was only weeks away from its start date.

A ghost tale said to be inspired by Henry James 1898 classic “The Turn of the Screw”, the $17 million dollar film was originally brought to the studio by writers Chad and Carey Hayes (”The Conjuring”). Rose Leslie (“Game of Thrones”) was set to star.

The rewrite of the script was reportedly so dramatic – the title, characters and the action were all different – that Spielberg deemed the project unrecognizable.

“Haunted” was to shoot under the DreamWorks label, would have been one of the first new projects to move forward since DreamWorks, Amblin and Participant formed the new Amblin Partners late last year, and Dreamworks, after distributing its movies through Disney since 2008, struck a new distribution deal with Universal.

While Fresnadillo has been tossed from the film, the studio hopes to continue developing it based on the original Hayes’ brothers script.

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