Film unit nabs rights to Gareth Edward's debut pic

Magnet Releasing has picked up North American rights to Gareth Edwards’ first feature, “Monsters,” shortly after its premiere at SXSW.

The sci-fier is produced by Allan Niblo and James Richardson of Vertigo Films (“Bronson”).

Magnet, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, hasn’t set a release date for “Monsters,” which Edwards wrote, shot and directed.

In the pic, a NASA probe returning to Earth with samples of an alien lifeform crashes over Central America. Soon after, new lifeforms begin to appear and half of Mexico is quarantined. Story focuses on a journalist escorting an American tourist through the infected zone to the safety of the U.S. border. Project was filmed as a road movie, travelling through Guatemala, Mexico and the U.S. with locals involved with cast members Scoot McNairy (“In Search of a Midnight Kiss”) and Whitney Able (“All the Boys Love Mandy Lane”).

Edwards directed and created the visual effects for “Attila the Hun” for the BBC.

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