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Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli is done with directing

11.09.2017by: Cody Hamman

Paranormal Activity Oren Peli

When a director's feature debut rocks the entertainment world in the way Oren Peli's PARANORMAL ACTIVITY did when it was released back in 2009, you'd usually expect to see a lot more from that filmmaker than we've seen from Peli over the last eight years. Sure, he has produced a good number of films, including the INSIDIOUS franchise and Rob Zombie's THE LORDS OF SALEM, wrote CHERNOBYL DIARIES, and co-created the short-lived television series The River, but the only thing he has directed was the 2015 film AREA 51... and who noticed when that came and went?

During a recent interview on Mick Garris's podcast Post Mortem, Peli said that PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and AREA 51 might be the only directorial efforts we ever see from him, revealing that he even turned down the offer to direct THE CONJURING (which ended up being such a hit for New Line Cinema and director James Wan that it has spawned its own cinematic universe).

I kind of wanted to just kind of cash out and be done [after Paranormal Activity]. I got sucked into [producing] the Paranormal Activity sequels, then I had lunch with Steven Spielberg and he said, ‘Let’s do a TV show together.’ And we did The River. I kind of kept having different opportunities to get me sucked back in. And then I thought, ‘Yeah, I could find something to direct.’ I got sent a lot of scripts. There was one I really loved called Eliza Graves. It ended up being a whole big legal mess and the project fell through.”

Peli decided to quit directing for good when his girlfriend got pregnant, and now he's living a peaceful life, happy not to deal with the crazy world of directing anymore.

Would Peli ever allow himself to get "sucked back in" to directing again? He says, 

At this point, I would have to be incredibly bored."

Fair enough. If Peli doesn't feel driven to direct more films and is content not to deal with all that business, who can blame him? He made PARANORMAL ACTIVITY in his own home, on a budget of $15,000 with a weeklong shooting schedule, and the finished film ended up making almost $200 million at the global box office, starting a franchise. Regardless of what you think of the film and its sequels, that's a hell of an accomplishment - and one Peli is happy to retire on.

Extra Tidbit: Would you like to see Peli return to directing?

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