EXCLUSIVE: In a deal that just kisses seven-figures, WWE Studios has acquired U.S. distribution rights to The Day, the Douglas Aarniokoski-directed post apocalyptic thriller that played last night in the Midnight Madness program. WWE Studios is a surprise combatant in the film acquisitions ring, but newly named WWE Studios president Michael Luisi said the company will use its TV, digital/social media and print assets–which reach more than 20 million people each week–to generate heat for the film.
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, five survivors wander along the back roads, trying to survive. Food and ammunition is dwindling and their attempt at seeking shelter leads them into a battleground where they must make a final stand. The film takes place over a nightmarish 24 hours. Shawn Ashmore, Ashley Bell, Michael Eklund, Cory Hardrict, Dominic Monaghan and Shannyn Sossamon star. The soundtrack is by Rock Mafia. The film first screened for media on Monday, and distributors including eOne, Anchor Bay, IFC and Lionsgate circled all week before a deal was closed right after the film’s midnight premiere at the Ryerson. Luke Passmore wrote the script and Guy A. Danella produced. Aarniokoski, Michael Finley, Tim James, Antonina Armato and Ross M. Dinerstein were exec producers.
“The Day is a renegade thriller ride that will not disappoint audiences,” Luisi said in a statement. “We went to Toronto looking for flms to showcase and expand the WWE Studios brand and found exactly that with Doug’s exceptional film.” WWE Studios has so far mostly been generating an in-house slate of productions. The division had a shakeup recently and it looks like they will also rely on pickups.
“The Day has been a wild ride from start to finish and we are very excited that we have found the right home to get the film out to the fans in a big way,” said Aarniokoski, who’s currently directing Nurse 3D for Lionsgate. Deal was made by Preferred Content’s Kevin Iwashina and Dinerstein.