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Universal Pictures International Entertainment has picked up multi-territory rights to the horror comedy Cooties from Synchronicity Entertainment. The deal for the pic starring Elijah Wood, Alison Pill and Rainn Wilson covers the UK, Germany, Benelux and Brazil. When a mysterious virus turns young children into a swarm of cannibals, it’s up to their substitute teacher to save the day. Cary Munion and Jonathan Milott direct from a script by Saw veteran Leigh Whannell and Ian Brennan.
One Village Entertainment, the Image Entertainment label that targets black and urban audiences, has acquired North American rights to psychological thriller The Suspect starring Mekhi Phifer, William Sadler and Sterling K. Brown. Stuart Connelly made his directorial debut on the pic, which is set to be released in second-quarter 2014. The film centers on a small town that encounters its first armed bank robbery at the exact moment a mysterious stranger appears. The local police struggle to tie the crime to their uncooperative suspect, but the truth is far more complicated. The deal was negotiated by Brett Dismuke and Michael Bayer on behalf of One Village and Scott Aronson and Mary Jo Barthmaier on behalf of Modoc Spring. ITN Distribution is handling international sales at AFM.
MPI’s Dark Sky Films and XYZ Films are teaming up to present XX, a horror anthology by female directors with female leads, the companies announced today at the market. Mary Harron, Jennifer Lynch, Karyn Kusama, Jen and Sylvia Soskaand Jovanka Vuckovic are all set to helm portions of the project. Interstitials from stop-motion animator Sofia Carrillo, who is creating the film’s title sequence, will link the director’s segments. MPI/Dark Sky Films is handling international sales at AFM. “We know that women make up about half of the audience for horror films, and yet the female creative voice has been nearly silent in the horror genre. So we are thrilled about the new and distinct approach that these talented directors will bring to the project,” said MPI EVP Greg Newman today in a statement. XYZ’s Todd Brown will produce with Newman as EP along with XYZ’s Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian. Jovanka Vukovic is associate producer.
Altitude Film Sales has licensed football hooligan spoof The Hooligan Factory to Universal Pictures International Entertainment, the international home entertainment division of Universal Pictures. The deal is for multiple territories, including the UK where the film will be released in 2014. Pic centers on Danny (Jason Maza), who’s been expelled from school and living in his grandfather’s flat and longing to live up to the image of his estranged father. His life takes a turn when he crosses paths with legendary football hooligan Dexter who’s about to be released from prison and on a quest of his own. Nick Nevern directed and co-wrote with Michael Lindley. Maza is also producing alongside Altitude Film Entertainment. Cast also includes Brits Tom Burke and Josef Altin.
Scandinavian sales company TrustNordisk has picked up international rights to thriller Mystery Ride. The pic is written and directed by Virginia Heath, who’s making her feature film debut. Kelly Reilly stars as Kate Connelly who returns to a rural New Zealand town following the unexpected death of her unfaithful husband. Mystery Ride is produced by Faction North’s Grant Keir and Ugly Duckling Films’ Lene Bausager. Randolph Paul is co-producer of the project which is supported in development by New Zealand Film Commission and Creative Scotland. Shooting is set to begin in the second quarter of 2014.