×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sundance: Lionsgate Gets ‘Cooties’

Acquisition marks the first narrative feature buy for the studio so far at the festival

UPDATED: Marking its first narrative Sundance acquisition, Lionsgate has acquired helmers Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s “Cooties.”

The horror-comedy ensemble led by Elijah Wood, who also produced the film, premiered Jan. 18 at midnight, drawing cheers and laughter from the audience. The film, which is one of the more commercial films of the festival (even with its share of detractors), takes place in an elementary school, where the students contract a strange virus that turns them into feral creatures.

Lionsgate has yet to solidify release plans.

Cooties” co-stars Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Leigh Whannell and Jack McBrayer. Pic was written by Ian Brennan and Whannell, who also wrote “Saw,” which coincidentally premiered at Sundance 10 years ago and was also distributed by Lionsgate.

“Leigh and Ian, along with all the filmmakers and cast of ‘Cooties,’ have created a project that we found ourselves laughing out loud throughout and we cannot wait to share it with moviegoers!” said Lionsgate prexy of acquistions and co-productions Jason Constantine, who negotiated the deal alongside Lionsgate’s Eda Kowan and Wendy Jaffe.

Ben Weiss of Paradigm brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. Synchronicity Entertainment is handling overseas rights.

The distrib beat out a number of bidders, including Relativity, making “Cooties” the company’s second acquisition so far at Sundance. Lionsgate also acquired North American rights to docu “Dinosaur 13,” along with CNN Films.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • David Goodman

    WGA West's David Goodman on Agency Strategy: 'We'll Start Meeting as Soon as Possible'

    David Goodman, who was resoundingly re-elected president of the Writers Guild of America West on Monday, said the guild plans to meet with several talent agencies soon in an effort to ease the impasse over packaging fees and affiliated production. “Many agencies had indicated that they wanted to wait to see the results of the [...]

  • Australian Outback

    Legend Media Seeks Trio of West Australia-China Co-Productions (EXCLUSIVE)

    Perth, Australia-based production company Legend Media is preparing a slate of three feature films to be produced with partners in China. The company styles itself as one that recognizes the opportunities for Asian engagement that have fallen to Australia, through geography, trade and culture. The company aims to make use of the bilateral film co-production [...]

  • David Goodman

    David Goodman Re-Elected President of Writers Guild of America West

    David Goodman has been convincingly re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America West, beating Phyllis Nagy in a bitter contest that became a referendum on the guild’s ongoing battle with talent agents. Goodman received 4,395 votes to Nagy’s 1,282 in an election that yielded record turnout among the WGA [...]

  • Issa Rae Portrait

    Issa Rae Developing Re-Imagining of Crime Thriller 'Set It Off'

    “Insecure” star and co-creator Issa Rae is in early development on a re-imagining of New Line’s crime thriller “Set If Off,” which starred Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise. Rae will produce with plans to star in the project. Syreeta Singleton and Nina Gloster have been hired to pen the script. [...]

  • Thomas Golubic GMS Conference

    Guild of Music Supervisors President: 'The Economics of the Job Don't Work Anymore'

    The Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS) hosted its 5th annual “State of Music in Media” conference on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Film School. Featuring a wide array of panel discussions on all manner of issues related to music in film, television and advertising, the confab drew top composers, music supervisors, licensing and [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Film News Roundup: Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South' Bought for Awards Season Release

    In today’s film news roundup, the documentaries “Gay Chorus Deep South” and “Tread” find homes, Tobin Bell’s latest horror film completes production and Emilio Insolera joins “355.” ACQUISITIONS MTV Documentary Films has acquired “Gay Chorus Deep South” for release during the fall for awards season consideration. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, the film world premiered [...]

  • Bad Education

    What 'Bad Education' Taught Us About the Slow Toronto Film Festival Market

    “Bad Education,” a dramedy starring Hugh Jackman as the embezzling superintendent of district of schools in Long Island, N.Y., was set to be this year’s “I, Tonya.” The movie has the same biting tone, shifting between comedy and tragedy. It received strong reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival. And like “I, Tonya,” it even [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content