Formerly known as Isopod, it has been announced today that director Barry Levinson‘s found footage eco-horror film The Bay will be released by Lionsgate. The film “chronicles an unprecedented biological disaster unleashed from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay- an isopod parasite, carrying a horrific untreatable disease, that jumps from fish to human hosts. The true horror and scope of the event unfolds on footage captured on home videos and the internet by the town’s victims.” I love much of Levinson’s previous work, most notably his directorial debut Diner. But he has been responsible for more classics such as Rain Man, Sleepers, and Wag the Dog. The Bay will see him returning to his horror roots found in Sphere.
In other distribution news, THR reports Relativity Media will distribute Mark Tonderai‘s thriller House at the End of the Street. The film stars Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, and Max Theriot and follows “a teen girl (Lawrence) who moves with her mom to a new town and learns that their home is across the street from a house where a double murder took place. Complications ensue when the teen befriends the massacre’s sole surviving son (Thieriot).”
Check out the full press release for The Bay below and expect both films to hit theaters this year.
Santa Monica, CA, April 14, 2011- LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, today announced that it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Barry Levinson’s found footage eco-horror film THE BAY from Alliance Films. The announcement was made jointly by Joe Drake, President of the Motion Picture Group, and Jason Constantine, President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions.
From the producers of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise, the film is the next installment in their series following INSIDIOUS, and chronicles an unprecedented biological disaster unleashed from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay- an isopod parasite, carrying a horrific untreatable disease, that jumps from fish to human hosts. The true horror and scope of the event unfolds on footage captured on home videos and the internet by the town’s victims.
“Ingenious genre films are and always will be a specialty at Lionsgate,” explained Drake of the choice to acquire the film. “THE BAY is a shining example of the kind of truly fresh horror film that audiences are always ready for, and that we excel at eventizing with them. Thanks to Barry, we’ll all be afraid to go in the water for years to come.”
Adds Constantine, “We have been big admirers of Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and Oren Peli since their breakout hit PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, and are thrilled to be in business with them. This film works so effectively because it establishes a very natural, everyday world, places the audience intimately within it, and then sits back as everything takes a horrific turn. Barry has incorporated found footage to the most satisfying possible effect, and it’s all the scarier for not relying on anything supernatural.”
“It’s exciting to see a company like Lionsgate embrace The Bay so enthusiastically. The found footage / multiplatform approach opened up the film to creative possibilities I hadn’t encountered in my previous films, and I think these sorts of films will only continue to push boundaries as the technology changes,” said director Barry Levinson.
The film was directed by Levinson, from a script he co-wrote with Michael Wallach. THE BAY was produced by Levinson, Jason Blum, Steven Schneider, and Oren Peli, and co-produced by Mythodic Films, with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Jason Sosnoff, Colin Strause, and Greg Strause executive producing.
THE BAY is an Alliance presentation in association with IM Global. IM Global handled foreign sales, and Alliance will distribute in Canada, the UK and Spain.
The deal was negotiated by Lionsgate’s Constantine, with Eda Kowan, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, and Wendy Jaffe, Executive Vice President Business & Legal Affairs for Acquisitions. The sale was brokered on behalf of Alliance by ICM and CAA. ICM packaged the film and represents Levinson and Wallach.