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FilmDistrict Acquires ‘Insidious’

Mike Fleming

FilmDistrict finalized a distribution deal for Insidious, the horror film by original Saw writer/director James Wan and Leigh Whannell, and produced by Paranormal Activity architects Oren Peli, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider.  The deal was long-rumored. FilmDistrict was started by Bob Berney and Peter Schlessel started with funding from Graham King and Tim Headington to generate product that can play on 1500 to upwards of 2500 screens. Insidious will come in at 2500 screens in its April 1 release. Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson and Whannell star in a thriller about a family that moves into a house they discover is haunted. After their son lapses into a coma, they try to escape and save him. After they move, they discover spirits too can pack their bags and move out.  The picture, financed by  Alliance and sold offshore by IM Global, made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. “With Insidious, James and Leigh are redefining the haunted house genre,” Schlessel said in a statement. “By taking well-known horror movie conventions and elevating them to the next level, they’ve created a film that is fun, suspenseful and very very scary.” Brian Kavanaugh-Jones is exec producer. Here’s a scene from the movie:

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Buys ‘Insidious’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE FROM TORONTO: The Toronto deal logjam seems to be breaking. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group is closing a deal for North American distribution rights to Insidious, the James Wan-directed thriller that premiered in the Midnight Madness program  Tuesday. Leigh Whannell wrote the script. I’m told it is a 7-figure deal that is still being finalized after a marathon bargaining session following the screening. The film is a modern take on the haunted house chiller genre. It’s guaranteed a theatrical release, with a level to be determined. Wan and Whannell created the Saw franchise, with Wan directing and Whannell scripting the first pic in that series. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play a married couple with three kids. When tragedy strikes the youngest, begin to experience things science can’t explain. Barbara Hershey and Lin Shaye also star. Pic’s produced by Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli Stuart Ford’s IM Global has foreign on the picture and has sold out the world. CAA and Paradigm repped it.

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