EXCLUSIVE: Circle of Confusion, the production company behind The Walking Dead, has joined forces with Lightning Entertainment and Hindsight Media for a multi-year suspense/thriller genre slate deal, which aims to produce two-three films a year. Circle, who will pull from its library of intellectual property, will oversee development and physical production, while Lightning handles worldwide sales/distribution and Hindsight finances the pics.

First film under this new deal will be Tone-Deaf, written and to be directed by Ricky Bates Jr., which follows millennial Olive who, after a string of bad relationships and work failures, leaves the city for a weekend of peace in the country only to discover the shockingly dark underbelly of rural America.

The film will shoot in Los Angeles spring of 2018. Paul Jensen and Brion Hambel of Best Medicine Productions will produce along with Circle.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be entering this new partnership with both Lightning Entertainment and Hindsight Media. Our hope is to combine our collective company’s many resources in launching a cutting edge slate of genre films created by unique filmmaker voices. Ricky Bates’ TONE DEAF is the perfectly twisted film to start the whole thing off with a literal BANG.” says Circle of Confusion’s Matt Smith.

“I love the synergy and collaboration among our three companies, and our shared passion to create original, entertaining, and commercially appealing films. This slate perfectly fits our new mandate of supporting promising storytellers and delivering to audiences the best of independent film” said Lightning’s James Walker.

Hindsight CEO James Swarbrick said “We are thrilled to be working with Circle of Confusion and Lightning Entertainment on this exciting new venture. The quality of the material from the creative team at Circle allied with Lightning’s distribution network makes this partnership so compelling. We look forward to working with the team to deliver the type of commercial, intelligent, genre films we love and we are sure audiences around the world will too.”

The venture was brokered by Lightning’s Andrew Brown, and the deal was negotiated by Smith and Circle partners Lawrence Mattis and Brad Mendelsohn, with Walker, Brown, and Bobby Rock of Lightning and Hindsight’s Tim Smith and James Swarbrick.