CANNES: Relativity Acquires Sci-Fi 'Skyline'

Grauman's Chinese TheatreEXCLUSIVE: Brett Ratner is proving to be quite the creative catalyst for Relativity Media. Ryan Kavanaugh’s company has acquired Skyline, the scifi thriller directed by Greg and Colin Strause, the visual effects wizards who’ve worked on such recent films as Avatar, Iron Man 2 and 300. The Strause Brothers financed the film through their Hydraulx Entertainment banner. Ratner brought the project to Relativity. Domestic distribution is still being worked out.

The film stars Donald Faison, Eric Balfour, David Zayas, Scottie Thompson and Brittney Daniel. It takes place in a high-rise in downtown L.A., where a couple of friends return from a night of hard partying and slowly realize they are among a small group of survivors after most of humanity was wiped out by a deadly unknown force. The film has an extraterrestrial twist, and fits the template of recent modest budget thrillers like Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield and JJ Abrams’ next directing vehicle, Super 8.

The Strauses will produce with Kristian Andresen and Liam O’Donnell. Ratner will be exec producer along with Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, and Brian Tyler. Tyler composed the score. Joshua Cordes and Liam O’Donnell wrote the script.

Ratner recently steered Relativity into the purchase of Catfish, the Sundance documentary that will be distributed through Kavanaugh’s Rogue. As director, he’s nearing a productions start on Tower Heist, with Universal recently hiring his Rush Hour scribe Jeff Nathanson to do a final rewrite.

Skyline was packaged by CAA and Industry Entertainment, and IM Global’s Stuart Ford continues to sell offshore territories. That effort predated Relativity’s involvement. After buyers were shown a short trailer, territorial deals were made by Momentum (UK), SND (France), Eagle (Italy), Wild Bunch (Germany), Hopscotch (Australia), Splendid (Benelux), Nordisk (Scandanavia), CP Media (Russia), Korea Screen (Korea), and Playarte (Latin America).

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