Company nabs rights to Bruce McDonald thriller

Canuck distrib Maple Pictures has nabbed Bruce McDonald’s “Pontypool” for all domestic rights in all media in advance of its world preem at the Toronto festival.

Written by Tony Burgess, based on his 1998 small-press novel “Pontypool Changes Everything,” the pic marks McDonald’s entry into alt-horror with a story about a wash-up small-town morning radio DJ who becomes trapped with his crew after getting reports of a rampantly spreading virus.

The pic is the first full-length Canuck feature shot with the Red One 4K HD camera, and is also the first pic shot in that format to screen at the Toronto fest.

McDonald, a vet helmer beloved in Canada for his rock’n’roll pics (“Hard Core Logo,” “Road Kill”) and a busy TV director (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”), optioned Burgess’ novel after reading the gallies over a decade ago.

The Canuck distribution deal was negotiated by Maple’s senior veep of theatrical distribution John Bain and co-president Brad Pelman and “Pontypool” exec producer J. Miles Dale and producer Ambrose Roche.

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