Toronto: The Lineup, levelFilm Sign True Crime Content Pact (Exclusive)

Dave Hudakoc

The U.S. genre website and indie Canadian distributor are partnering to create film, TV, web and podcast content.

Canadian indie distributor levelFilm and Open Road Integrated Media, parent of American true crime and horror website The Lineup, have struck a partnership deal unveiled at the Toronto Film Festival.

The cross-border partners inked a co-development and co-production deal to create media content based on properties from The Lineup website. The agreement will see them jointly develop true crime, unexplained, unsolved and outrightly bizarre stories from history and turn them into film, TV, web and podcast content.

"We have always believed in pushing the envelope in our content sites. This is a significant game-changer that will enable The Lineup enthusiasts to enjoy our content in a variety of platforms," Mary McAveney, chief marketing officer of Open Road Integrated Media, said in a statement.

The first project to come from the deal is a true crime/horror podcast hosted by Johnny Wunder, who produced Josie, starring Sophie Turner and Dylan McDermott, and horror writer Joshua Malkin (Cabin Fever 2). More film, TV and web-series projects, along with scripted and investigative podcasts, are expected to follow in 2020.

Popular content like the controversial Robert Durst series The Jinx, the Steven Avery-focused Making a Murderer podcast and ESPN's epic, eight-hour O.J.: Made in America series have encouraged a host of Hollywood players to jump on the true crime bandwagon.

The latest partnership follows levelFilm’s moving into production and development, which includes genre projects like Coming Soon and The Northwoods, starring Sarah Gadon and Eili Harboe. The multiyear agreement with The Lineup will see levelFilm expand its movie development and production slate and branch into TV, web series and podcasts.

"The Lineup is a treasure trove of the weird, scary and unexplained, and we can’t wait to dive into this world to create content together. Adding The Lineup as a new strategic partner is exciting, and we can’t wait to see what comes from it," Dave Hudakoc, managing director of Toronto-based levelFilm, said in a statement.