EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to Testament, a supernatural thriller that will begin production in March, with The Butterfly Effect helmer Eric Bress directing his script. Open Road will release the Voltage Pictures-financed film in early 2015. The deal was made by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg and Voltage Pictures president Nicolas Chartier, the latter of whom will produce with Voltage production head Zev Foreman. Lisa Ellzey and Patrick Newall will executive produce. Production is slated to begin March 2014.
The thriller takes place at a prestigious boarding school in a remote part of Texas and revolves around a science teacher and his students who are forced to fight for their lives when the Ten Plagues of the Old Testament descend not only on the town, but the entire world. It starts with blood filling the school’s swimming pool — as fast as it fills rivers, lakes and oceans worldwide — and that is followed by frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and death of the first born. Casting is underway.
“Testament is a strong high concept story and there is no one better to bring it to life than director – writer Eric Bress,” said Open Road’s Ortenberg. “Along with Nicholas Chartier and his team at Voltage Pictures, we anticipate the film will not only appeal to a wide moviegoing audience but that they will also be glued to their seats for what we expect to be an awesome thrill ride.”
Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg and Ben Cotner negotiated for Open Road with Voltage’s Chartier and Foreman.