EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has acquired rights to Code 8, the crowd-funded sci-fi thriller spearheaded by cousins Stephen and Robbie Amell, who executive produce and star. Vertical is planning a theatrical release for the film, directed by Jeff Chan, day-and-date near the end of this year.
Code 8, written by Chris Pare, is set in a world where 4% of the population is born with some type of supernatural ability, but instead of being superheroes, they are heavily policed and live in poverty. Connor Reed (Robbie Amell) is a powerful young “electric” struggling to pay for his ailing mother’s medical treatment. To earn money, he joins a lucrative criminal world led by Garrett (Stephen Amell), who teaches him how to use his powers to pull off a series of increasingly dangerous crimes. Sung Kang (Fast & Furious) and Greg Bryk (Ad Astra) also star.
The Amells launched a funding bid on Indiegogo for the pic in 2016, with an aim to turn their short film into a feature. They sought an initial $200,000, but ended up raising $2.4 million with more than 27,000 backers. The team has hosted supporter screenings throughout this past spring.
“We took a grassroots approach to getting this film off the ground and we’re beyond thrilled to
unveil it alongside our partners at Vertical,” said the Amells and Chan. “This has been a labor of love for us and the tens of thousands of supporters who have been there since the start of this journey.”
The film was produced by Colony Pictures, with the participation of Telefilm Canada, in association with Lane E Productions, the Fyzz Facility and Ontario Creates. Along with the cousins, Lee Kim, Mary Anne Waterhouse, Pare, Cynthia Guidry, Lainie Guidry, Sascha Penn, Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones are executive producers.
Vertical’s deal revealed Thursday is for worldwide rights excluding Canada, Germany, the Middle East, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, S. Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Russia.
“Code 8 is a visually immersive and action-packed film that introduces powerful real-world
implications to a story revolving around individuals with the super-powered abilities,” said Vertical’s Rich Goldberg. “Like the best science fiction, it manages to entertain while challenging us to ask questions about the world around us and we can’t wait for audiences to experience it.”
The deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector from Vertical with Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films and Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers.