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Cannes: Hereford Films Options Shaun Hutson’s Upcoming Horror Novel ‘Chase’ (EXCLUSIVE)

British production company Hereford Films has acquired movie rights to the upcoming novel “Chase” from prolific horror writer Shaun Hutson. The option is part of a deal with the British author and his publisher Caffeine Nights that will also see Hereford take rights to Hutson’s 1988 novel “Assassin,” as well as form a new publishing brand with Caffeine Nights.

The new publishing label, Hereford Books, will produce novelizations of other films on the independent production company’s slate, as well as spinoff titles and print-only “expanded universe” sequels. Hereford has previously seen Caffeine Nights publish novelizations of catalogue horror titles including “Vendetta,” “We Still Kill the Old Way” and “Age of Kill.”

Hereford CEO Jonathan Sothcott said he and producer Damien Morley had been looking to expand the company’s business interests into publishing and that, in Caffeine Nights, they believe they have found the perfect partner. “It is part of our brief to exploit the IP in all of the properties that we own and working with a quality publisher and some great authors is a firm step in the right direction,” said Sothcott.

Hutson has written nearly 40 novels, including 1982’s “Slugs,” which was adapted into a 1988 cult movie by Spanish director J.P. Simon, released in the U.S. by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. His work included movie novelizations of Hammer Film Productions as well as the U.K. novelization of James Cameron’s “The Terminator.”

The author will adapt both “Chase” and “Assassin” for Hereford Films. Hutson said: “The goal of any film or piece of fiction should be to excite, entertain and, if it’s anything to do with me, terrify. ‘Chase’ should tick all those boxes.”

“Chase” is due to be published in the U.K. by Caffeine Nights in October. It follows a couple who take their eight-year-old daughter on a dream U.S. holiday, unaware of a series of child abductions and murders and a crazed cult that have spread terror across the area they intend to visit. As they travel along the highways of Colorado they are pursued not just by the forces of an unimaginable evil but also by the darkness within themselves.

”Assassin” is a supernatural mafia thriller. Hereford will relocate the action from London to Chicago for the feature adaptation, which will also be written by Hutson.

Hereford’s current slate includes the U.S.-set horrors “Tormented,” “Pentagram,” and “Aura”; London gangster sequel “We Still Die the Old Way”; and action thriller “Assault on Hazard Rock.”

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