EXCLUSIVE: Australian sales firm Odin’s Eye Entertainment has acquired Jonathan aux der Heide (Van Diemens Land) film Devil Inside and will launch the Ryan Kwanten-starring picture at the Cannes Market.
Kwanten (True Blood, 2067) is starring, and is picture is currently in pre-production ahead of a Q3 2023 delivery date. Odin’s Eye will bring it to Cannes this month.
Pitched as an elevated horror-thriller in the vein of 28 Days Later and It Comes at Night, Devil Inside explores the ‘what if’ question of a cross-species contagion, in this case from a Tasmanian Devil.
It follows Eva, a young virologist, who helps the local park ranger research the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease — a contagious cancer that has wiped out nearly 90% of the population. But when her husband is bitten by a stray dog, she suspects the virus has mutated to cross species and is causing violent outbursts in the hosts. Infection soon spreads through the locals and Eva must choose between saving the man she loves or the rest of humanity.
The film was previously with Canada’s WaZabi Films and it’s understood female lead Rachel X is no longer aboard.
Auf Der Heide said: “As the story is inspired by a real-life disease, I want to keep the film firmly grounded in reality. What makes it so scary is that this will feel like the world’s first actual rage virus outbreak.”
Auf der Heide will direct based on a script he penned with Tom Holloway and David Ngo and Erin Williams-Weir of Projector Films (One Eyed Girl; Rabbit) will produce.
Ngo said: “We are thrilled to partner with Odin’s Eye on this film. Jonathan auf der Heide and Tom Holloway have written an incredibly tense and exciting script that taps into our fears for humanity in an increasingly fragile world, struggling to balance the reality of our current global challenges and hope for the future.”
Michael Favelle, Odin’s Eye Founder and CEO said: “We are genuinely excited about this project. Buyers will love this terrifying script and we are confident Jonathan will deliver a visceral experience that will exhilarate audiences keeping them glued to their seat but lingers long in the mind after the credits roll”.
Favelle will also serve as an exec producer alongside Katie Found, Bryce Menzies and Clement Dunn.
Devil Inside was developed with the assistance of Screen Australia and Screen Tasmania.
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