Here’s another Alchemy rescue. Saban Films has acquired North American rights to Rob Zombie’s horror thriller 31. Last April, under then CEO Bill Lee, Alchemy acquired 31, and even world premiered at Sundance earlier this year. However, when news hit about Alchemy’s financial woes back in February, the company started unloading a number of their prolific festival acquisitions starting with their Cannes pick-up The Lobster, which A24 reacquired and is releasing on May 13.
Sheri Moon Zombie and Malcolm McDowell star in the pic, and Saban is giving 31 a September 16 limited theatrical release.
The pic, written and directed by Zombie, follows five carnival workers who are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive 12 hours against a gang of sadistic clowns. Bow and Arrow Entertainment financed and co-produced with Spectacle Entertainment Group.
“31 is a treat not just to horror fans, but fans of true auteur filmmaking,” said Saban Films president Bill Bromiley. “The film is executed in true stylistic Zombie fashion. Rob is an unrivaled talent, and we are thrilled to bring his bold new film to audiences across the continent.”
Bromiley, Ness Saban and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films. UTA Independent Film Group arranged financing and handled North American rights.
A24 also saved the Alchemy title Free Fire recently which stars distrib’s Room Oscar-winner Brie Larson. Other titles still on the sales block are James Franco’s Zeroville and Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre. Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Evolution was freed from Alchemy by IFC Midnight yesterday. Alchemy originally purchased the atmospheric film last Augusst. The director tonight at a Lincoln Center screening said the film would be released in the August or early fall. Mia Madre, which Alchemy acquired at Cannes, originally had a release date for this weekend, but was removed from the calendar.
Brian Brooks contributed to this piece.