It took Peter Jackson's patronage of Neill Blomkamp to make District 9, and now Sam Raimi is getting in on the "mentoring up-and-coming sci-fi filmmakers" act. He's signed up Panic Attack's Federico Alvarez for a big-budget debut movie next year.

FilmJunk reports that a story in Uruguayan newspaper El Pais says that Alvarez has signed on to direct a $30-40 million movie that may or may not be based on Panic Attack, to be produced by Raimi. According to the story, Raimi would "shield" Alvarez from business concerns, allowing him to concentrate on the movie, a la Jackson and Blomkamp on D9. Is this the new model for young filmmakers breaking into the industry, or Raimi wanting to see if D9's success is repeatable?

Sam Raimi Signs Panic Attack! Director for Sci-Fi Feature Film Debut [FilmJunk]