A ballsy stunt to get attention on a viral video has paid off, with Clown being the latest in a string of internet shorts that have led to big-time development deals over the last year. The video, which went viral on the movie sites for it’s relatively well-executed approach at making a fake trailer and slapping Eli Roth’s name on it, can be seen right here…

Word comes now from Deadline that Eli Roth dug the trailer, reached out to the filmmakers Jon Watts and Christopher D. Ford, offering a production deal for the two to expand Clown into a legit feature. Watts will direct from a script the pair writes.

“I loved how ballsy they were, issuing a trailer that said, ‘From the Master of Horror, Eli Roth.’ Some people thought I’d made the movie, or that it was another fake Grindhouse trailer. The first thing they said was, ‘Thank you for not suing us, but I told them, ‘This is Hollywood, and while it’s tradition that every movie eventually ends up in a lawsuit, you only sue when you are fighting over profits. It’s no fun to sue before there’s any money.’ But I really felt these guys deserved a shot, and that people are truly freaked out by evil clowns. It’s new territory to make this a version of The Fly, where this guy can feel himself changing, blacking out only to find blood all over his clown suit. You’re sympathetic toward a monster until the monster actually takes over.”

That’s Roth on the concept and how he introduced the pair to Cross Creek Productions president Brian Oliver to play Godfather to their deal. Eli Roth, who is producing the RZA’s kung-fu flick along with his own next project, is also making a deal happen for Chilean Nicolas Lopez, who made the well-regarded Fuck My Life, which is about the modern age of hyper-communication, and how a relationship ends in that environment.

“I’d told him to let me know when he was ready to make an English language film and then he told me about this earthquake, which turned the country into a shaking amusement park ride. There was no electricity or phones, all hell broke loose and everybody was communicating on their iPhones, which became their flashlights. We thought of writing a supernatural element, but his description of the buildings and towns leveled, anarchy and looters being shot from helicopters, was terrifying enough.”

You can get the full details on both deals over at Deadline, though I’m sure you’re eager to rush off and slap a director’s name on your next spoof video.

(thanks Patrick)