‘Watchmen’ Director Stephen Williams Boards Universal’s Thriller ‘Don’t Go in the Water’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Director Stephen Williams, who most recently helmed HBO’s “Watchmen,” has boarded “Don’t Go in the Water,” an original horror film from Universal Pictures.

Peter Gaffney wrote the script, most of which is being kept tightly under wraps. The film is described as a suspenseful monster movie.

Shawn Levy and Dan Levine will produce “Don’t Go in the Water” for 21 Laps Entertainment, alongside Adam Kolbrenner for Lit Entertainment Group. Adam Rodin is executive producing. Universal’s executive VP of Production Matt Reilly and director of development Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Though productions across town have been shutdown indefinitely, studios are still working on adding projects to their development slates, especially when it comes to setting writers and directors to developing IP.

Williams, who was originally discovered by J.J. Abrams and set as a co-exec producer on “Lost,” has cut his teeth in the TV world over the past decade. Some of his credits includes Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

He was then tapped by Damon Lindeloff, who Williams worked with on “Lost,” to direct two episodes of “Watchmen,” including the “The Extraordinary Being.” His work on the show earned him a Directors Guild Award nomination, catching the eye of studio executives in Hollywood.

Gaffney is currently developing several scripts including “Harvest” and “Terrestrial.” Levy and Kolbrenner recently produced the 20th Century pic “Free Guy,” which Levy directed and stars Ryan Reynolds.

Williams is represented by WME and manager Ken Stovitz. Gaffney is represented by Verve.

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