AFM: Universal International Buys Elijah Wood's 'Cooties' for Key Markets

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Elijah Wood

The horror comedy -- written by fright master Leigh Whannell and "Glee" co-creator Ian Brennan -- also stars Alison Pill and Rainn Wilson.

Universal isn't scared of Cooties.

In boost for Elijah Wood's new horror production company, Universal Pictures International Entertainment has struck a multi-territory deal for distribution rights to Cooties, including for the U.K., Germany and Brazil. The horror-comedy stars Wood opposite Alison Pill and Rainn Wilson.

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Cary Munion and Jonathan Milott directed Cooties from a script by fright master Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) and Glee co-creator Ian Brennan, who also serve as executive producers. In the film, an unlikely hero (a substitute teacher) must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives against them when a mysterious virus borne from chicken nuggets hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the pre-adolescent children into a feral swarm of mindless cannibals.

Synchronicity Entertainment is handling the film internationally, and struck the deal with Universal International. Synchronicity is a partnership between The Solution Group and Siren Studios.

Cooties is one of the first titles from SpectreVision, the production company founded by Wood, Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller with a focus on horror films. Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) and Glacier Films' Tove Christensen and Georgy Malkov also produced Cooties, which Paradigm is representing domestically.

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“Not since Gremlins struck a nerve have little monsters terrorized a town in a wildly entertaining take on the horror genre.  UPIE’s enthusiasm for the release in such key international territories as the UK and Germany promises that Cooties  has found the perfect home where it can grow globally,” said Ruzanna Kegeyan, president of Synchronicity Entertainment.
Synchronicity’s slate at AFM also includes Schneider’s supernatural horror film Mara, starring Olga Kurylenko, the James Mottern thriller God Only Knows and James Roday’s genre-bending horror Gravy with Lily Cole, Gabourey Sidibe and Sarah Silverman.

The deal with Universal International was negotiated by Kegeyan on behalf of Synchronicity, Matthew Dysart from Sheppard Mullin on behalf of the producers and Jasper van Hecke and Felicity Harrison on behalf of UPIE.