EXCLUSIVE: XYZ Films has acquired international sales rights to Code 8, the sci-fi thriller in the works and being toplined by cousins Stephen and Robbie Amell. The pair starred in Jeff Chan’s short film of the same name and launched an Indiegogo campaign last year to adapt it into a feature; it raised more than $1.7 million.
A May shooting start in Toronto now is being eyed, and XYZ is selling the title at the European Film Market underway this week in Berlin. Chan will direct and produce under his Colony Pictures banner, with the Amells, screenwriter Chris Pare, Thick Water Entertainment and Resolute Films’ Lee Kim executive producing.
The short film is set in a world where 4% of the population is born with some type of supernatural ability, but instead of being billionaires or superheroes, most “specials” face discrimination and live in poverty. The story follows a man (Robbie Amell, The Flash) struggling to pay for his mother’s medical treatment. Forced to work as a day laborer, he is recruited by a criminal (Stephen Amell, Arrow) who teaches him how to use his powers to pull off a series of crimes. Sung Kang (the Fast and the Furious franchise), who also was in the original short, returns to play the relentless cop who pursues them.
Here’s Chan’s short film that sparked all this:
Chan is repped by WME and Management 360. Robbie Amell is with WME and Protégé Entertainment, and Stephen Amell is with CAA, Leverage and Gary Goddard Agency. Kang is repped by CAA and Management 360. Pare is repped by Nelson Davis.