Lionsgate Acquires Barry Levinson's ‘The Bay’

Studio will distribute the Oren Peli-produced found-footage eco-horror film domestically

Lionsgate announced Thursday that it has acquired the Barry Levinson horror film "The Bay."

Levinson will produce the movie, alongside the "Paranormal Activity" brain trust of Oren Peli, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. 

The film focuses on a deadly, incurable pathogen that transitions from fish to humans in Chesapeake Bay.

The story is told in found-camera verite style.

Here's the press release. More to come…

LIONSGATE TO UNLEASH THE BAY ON U.S. AUDIENCES

Biological Disaster Film From Producers Of Paranormal Activity Acquired From Alliance Films

Santa Monica, CA, April 14, 2011– LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), leading global entertainment company, today announced that it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Barry Levinson’s found footage eco-horror film THE BAY from Alliance Films.  The announcement was made jointly by Joe Drake, President of the Motion Picture Group, and Jason Constantine, President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions. 

From the producers of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise, the film is the next installment in their series following INSIDIOUS, and chronicles an unprecedented biological disaster unleashed from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay- an isopod parasite, carrying a horrific untreatable disease, that jumps from fish to human hosts. The true horror and scope of the event unfolds on footage captured on home videos and the internet by the town's victims.

“Ingenious genre films are and always will be a specialty at Lionsgate,” explained Drake of the choice to acquire the film. “THE BAY is a shining example of the kind of truly fresh horror film that audiences are always ready for, and that we excel at eventizing with them.  Thanks to Barry, we’ll all be afraid to go in the water for years to come.”

Adds Constantine, “We have been big admirers of Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and Oren Peli since their breakout hit PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, and are thrilled to be in business with them.  This film works so effectively because it establishes a very natural, everyday world, places the audience intimately within it, and then sits back as everything takes a horrific turn.  Barry has incorporated found footage to the most satisfying possible effect, and it’s all the scarier for not relying on anything supernatural.”

“It’s exciting to see a company like Lionsgate embrace The Bay so enthusiastically. The found footage / multiplatform approach opened up the film to creative possibilities I hadn’t encountered in my previous films, and I think these sorts of films will only continue to push boundaries as the technology changes,” said director Barry Levinson. 

The film was directed by Levinson, from a script by Michael Wallach.  THE BAY was produced by Levinson, Jason Blum, Steven Schneider, and Oren Peli, and co-produced by Mythodic Films, with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Jason Sosnoff, Colin Strause, and Greg Strause executive producing. 

THE BAY is an Alliance presentation in association with IM Global. IM Global handled foreign sales, and Alliance will distribute in Canada, the UK and Spain. 

The deal was negotiated by Lionsgate’s Constantine, with Eda Kowan, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, and Wendy Jaffe, Executive Vice President Business & Legal Affairs for Acquisitions.  The sale was brokered on behalf of Alliance by ICM and CAA.  ICM packaged the film and represents Levinson and Wallach.