Lightning takes the plunge for 'Reef'

Prodigy Movies' thriller set in Great Barrier Reef

Lightning Entertainment has boarded and will executive produce Prodigy Movies' psychological thriller "The Reef," which has been presold to a slew of territories.

The project marks a first for the Santa Monica-based sales and distribution company's co-presidents, Rich Goldberg and Richard Guardian, who will team up to executive produce.

The film, set to start principal photography in March, is written and directed by Andrew Traucki and produced by Michael Robertson. The two teamed for the 2007 horror flick "Black Water."

Goldberg and Guardian negotiated the deal with Traucki and Robertson.

Based on true events of survival on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, "Reef" has piqued interest with foreign distributors. At the onset of the American Film Market, Lightning inked presales in major territories including U.K.'s Momentum Pictures, Russia's Film Depot, Canada's Alliance Entertainment and Eastern Europe's Pasatiempo. Lightning is firming up a deal for Japan as well.

"Reef" revolves around a group of friends whose sailing trip through the Great Barrier Reef turns tragic when their boat capsizes, leaving them stranded and stalked by an 18-foot rogue great white shark hunting outside its normal habitat, and targeting the survivors one at a time.

"The story is something that can happen, and has happened," Guardian said. "We think this will be a hot title worldwide and look forward to introducing it during the AFM."

Castings have not been announced.

Along with "Reef," Lightning's AFM slate includes "La Linea" starring Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta, Jada Pinkett Smith's "The Human Contract" and the thriller "Shortcut" from Leomax Entertainment and Adam Sandler's Scary Madison Prods.
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