EXCLUSIVE: News of splashy deals for finished films, sizzle reels and scripts with talent attachments made on the Croisette will continue to be unveiled for the next few weeks. Here’s one that got done just before the fest market closed. Maple Leaf Films’ Tove Christensen and Michael Wexler agreed to finance and produce Spectrum, a science fiction thriller that John Swetnam will direct. It’s based on his idea and was scripted by Lex Edness. 13 Films’ Tannaz Anisi is handling international rights and Swetnam’s Paradigm reps will broker the domestic deal. Casting on Spectrum is underway for a fall shoot.
After inventing a technology that not only proves the existence of ghosts but can actually see them, a renowned scientist does a final experiment on a human test subject that goes horribly wrong. Decades later, when his son and a group of colleagues discover the secret high-tech laboratory where the experiment took place, they find themselves battling a vengeful force. Swetnam wrote Into The Storm for Warner Bros and Step Up All In; he wrote, produced and directed Breaking Through; and is producing Realm at Relativity, based on the short he wrote and produced.
Christensen and Wexler are producing with Swetnam and his Mad Horse Films, along with VFX wiz Sean Cushing of Cantina Creative, whose recent credits include Furious 7 and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The Cannes deal was fueled by a promo reel that Swetnam shot with the help of Cantina. Alexandru Celea will oversee for Mad Horse. Maple Leaf’s films include American Heist with Hayden Christensen and Adrien Brody, and the label just wrapped the Jonathan Mostow-directed Hunter’s Prayer with Sam Worthington.
“Everyone from the Greeks to the Aztecs to Thomas Edison tried to glimpse into the next world,” Swetnam said. “Our film will explore this age-old curiosity but with a unique sci-fi lens: What if all those stories we heard as kids were true and we actually had the technology to prove that there’s something else out there? Spectrum will show us that some things are better left unknown.”