EXCLUSIVE: Gary Shore (Dracula Untold) is set to direct thriller Red River, written by BAFTA and Oscar-nominated scribe Ronan Blaney. XYZ Films has boarded world sales for the project and is set to shop it to buyers in Cannes this week.

Story is set in an isolated town in Ireland, where a bloodthirsty drifter befriends an immigrant family and avenges their murdered father. The film is currently in pre-production and is set to shoot later this year in Northern Ireland.

Mark Huffam, who produced Ridley Scott’s The Martian and Alien: Covenant produces the title along with Churchill’s Piers Tempest and 23ten partners Martin Brennan and Michael B. Jackson. XYZ is exec producing. Red River is a 23ten/Generator Entertainment/Tempo production in association with XYZ Films. It was developed with Northern Ireland Screen.

“A story about a vampire hell-bent on teaching an isolated town a thing or two about its treatment of outsiders is a valuable reminder that man is capable of being the real monster,” said Shore. “I love Ronan’s script – heartbreaking, violent and touching all at once. With influences like High Plaines Drifter, Shane and Let The Right One In, it’s definitely an original in the genre with the potential to be a modern classic.”

Huffam added: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with Gary on Red River. We all believe he is the perfect fit for bringing this incredible Ronan Blaney script to life.”

In addition to Dracula Untold, Shore most recently directed the “St. Patrick’s Day” segment in the feature anthology Holidays. Blaney, whose recent pic A Good Woman Is Hard To Find is in pre-production, was nominated for a Best Short Oscar and BAFTA for his short Boogaloo and Graham.

XYZ Films is one of this year’s Deadline’s Disruptors and it’s coming off the back of a bumper start to 2017. This year XYZ-produced film I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, directed by Macon Blair and starring Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood, took home the Grand Jury Prize in Sundance while horror-thriller Under the Shadow, the debut feature from Anglo-Iranian director Babak Anvari took home a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut. One of the company’s newest productions, Bushwick, directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milot and which imagines a second U.S. civil war, is playing in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight section this year.

Shore is repped by WME and 42.