EXCLUSIVE: STX Entertainment’s STXfilms has boarded worldwide rights to the action thriller Black Hole with San Andreas-helmer Brad Peyton directing. STXinternational is introducing Black Hole to distributors this week in Berlin. The project marks yet another notch in STX’s belt as it continues to expand its global footprint. It also will co-finance.

Peyton co-wrote the script with Philip Gawthorne and is producing through his ASAP Entertainment banner, along with partner Jeff Fierson. Bill Block will produce and co-finance through his Billblock Media company. Production is expected to begin in early 2018. CAA brokered the deal.

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STX

The story sees a black hole enter our solar system, setting off natural disasters on an unprecedented scale. Cities are assaulted by gigantic meteorites, continents are devastated by super-volcanos, and Earth’s shifting axis triggers a cataclysmic second Ice Age. All the while, a team of scientists, soldiers and astronauts must work together to save the planet from imminent annihilation.

Peyton has experience wreaking havoc on Earth. His 2015 disaster pic San Andreas starring Dwayne Johnson grossed $474 million worldwide. He’s currently in pre-production on New Line’s Rampage, also starring Johnson and based on the popular video game franchise. The filmmaker also is developing Journey 3: From The Earth To The Moon for New Line, as well as a sequel to San Andreas.

Peyton says he’s “especially excited to be reunited with (STXfilms Head of Production) Sam Brown, with whom I worked very closely on both Journey 2 and San Andreas while he was at New Line. … Additionally, Bill has been an incredible partner in allowing us to develop what I hope will be a wholly original franchise-starter that is just the beginning of a much bigger story.”

David Kosse, President of STXinternational, said today: “We have an amazing network of distribution partners all over the globe who are thrilled to be a part of what we are building at STXinternational. As we continue to build out our slate, Black Hole is the kind of big commercial tentpole that gets buyers and audiences excited all over the world.” As part of its new distribution setup in the UK, STX will self-distribute there.

Said Adam Fogelson, Chairman of STXfilms: “We believe Brad Peyton’s vision for Black Hole is tremendously exciting and will be the kind of event programming that we are excited to have on our slate. The film is already attracting the interest of A-list stars, and we are very eager to work with Brad and his team on this project.”

Block, who worked with STX on hit comedy Bad Moms, added: “Having seen how this team innovates and collaborates when it comes to production, marketing and distribution, STXfilms is the perfect home for Black Hole. We know we have a deeply committed and skilled team that will pull out all the stops to make this film a huge hit all over the world.”

In the STX deal, Block was represented by attorney David Boyle as well as Greenberg Traurig’s Tom Ara.