EXCLUSIVE: NEON and Hulu have won a bidding among four studios to land rights to release the dark comedy Little Monsters for U.S. report. The suitors battled all night for the Abe Forsythe-directed genre film that stars Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England and Josh Gad. The deal went for mid-seven figures for the U.S. rights.

The film is being called Zombieland meets Kindergarten Cop, and the dealmaking got hot and heavy while Nyong’o was beaming at the Screen Actors Guild Awards as Black Panther won the top prize. The plan behind the NEON-Hulu partnership still is being worked out, but it will amount to a hybrid that combines a theatrical release with massive cross promotion on the streaming platform, where the film will land.


Apparently, no dealmakers slept last night in Sundance as deals popped all over the mountaintop, including Amazon Studios’ $14 million world rights deal to the Scott Z. Burns-directed drama The Report. NEON also captured the FilmNation genre film The Lodge and SPC grabbed the docu Where Is My Roy Cohn? Several other deals are percolating and so much for a sleepy Sundance that many people expected.

In Little Monsters, after a rough breakup, directionless Dave (England) crashes at his sister’s place and spends his days expanding his young nephew’s questionable vocabulary. When an opportunity arises to chaperone an upcoming school excursion alongside the charming and enigmatic teacher Miss Caroline (Nyong’o), Dave jumps at the chance to impress her. What he wasn’t anticipating was Teddy McGiggle (Gad), an obnoxious children’s television personality who shapes the excursion’s activities. What he was expecting even less was a zombie invasion, which unfolds after an experiment at a nearby military base goes awry. Armed only with the resourcefulness of kindergartners, Dave, Miss Caroline and Teddy must work together to keep the monsters at bay and carve a way out with their guts intact.

Pic premiered in the Midnight Section last night. CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content brokered the deal. Protagonist is handling international sales on the pic.