11:00am PT by Tatiana Siegel
Toronto: Horror Film 'The Ritual' Sells to Netflix for $4.75 Million (Exclusive)
Netflix has acquired the David Bruckner-helmed horror pic The Ritual from eOne for the world, excluding the U.K.
A source pegged the deal at $4.75 million, which would make it one of the top deals of the Toronto market (I Love You, Daddy to The Orchard and I, Tonya to Neon/30WEST — both for $5 million — slightly eclipsed the Ritual price tag).
The Ritual made its world premiere Sept. 8 in the Midnight section of the Toronto International Film Festival and immediately drew the interest of buyers including Lionsgate, Annapurna, IFC and Saban Films.
Written by BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Joe Barton (Humans, iBoy), the film revolves around four old friends from university who set out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness after the tragic death of their best friend. But a wrong turn leads them into the ancient forests of Norse legend, where something evil is stalking their every step. Barton adapted the script from Adam Nevill's book of the same name, which won the August Derleth Award for best horror novel in 2012.
Rafe Spall (The BFG), Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey), Arsher Ali (Four Lions) and Sam Troughton (The Hollow Crown) star as the unfortunate quartet.
The Ritual was produced by The Imaginarium and eOne, which fully financed the pic and will distribute it in the U.K. The Imaginarium’s Jonathan Cavendish developed the film and served as producer alongside Richard Holmes. Will Tennant and Phil Robertson oversaw the project for The Imaginarium and served as executive producers with The Imaginarium's Andy Serkis and Moonriver Content’s Xavier Marchand, who also oversaw the film’s production with eOne's Lara Thompson. (Serkis and Cavendish also were in Toronto with the tentpole actor's directorial debut, Breathe, which Cavendish produced.)
Bruckner's previous films include Southbound and V/H/S.
WME Global negotiated the Ritual deal on behalf of the filmmakers.