Orion Pictures has acquired the North American and Latin American rights to John McPhail’s zombie holiday musical “Anna and the Apocalypse,” the distribution company announced Tuesday.
Orion, recently relaunched by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) as a standalone theatrical marketing and distribution company, plans to release the film in the 2018 holiday season.
“Anna and the Apocalypse” stars Ella Hunt, Mark Benton and Paul Kaye, along with a group of new talent: Malcom Cumming, Ben Wiggins, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux and Marli Su.
The zombie musical premiered at the Fantastic Fest earlier this year, where it was met with critical acclaim. It also screened at Sitges Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Midnight X-Treme Feature Length Film.
The film is based on the 2010 BAFTA-winning short film “Zombie Musical.” The short film was directed by McPhail, written by Alan McDonald and the late Ryan McHenry, and it was produced by Naysun Alae-Carew and Nicholas Crum of Blazing Griffin in associated with Tracy Jarvis of Parkhouse Pictures and Creative Scotland.
“The team at Orion can’t wait to work with Blazing Griffin in making ‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ a holiday spectacular for the ages,” said John Hegeman, President of Orion Pictures. “Nothing gets the blood flowing like a good holiday musical.”
Producer Alae-Carew added: “The Orion logo was on the front of so many of our favorite films growing up. It’s a real honor that ‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ will join the ranks of the films that inspired us. We are elated to have a partner in Orion that is as passionate about our film as we are.”
In the film, a zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven at Christmas, and Anna and her high school friends must fight, sing and slash their way to survival.
“Anna and the Apocalypse” marks Orion’s first acquisition since the announcement that it would return to wide release theatrical distribution last fall. Orion’s first release, the YA romance “Every Day,” will hit theaters Feb. 23 and stars Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Maria Bello and Debby Ryan.
The deal was negotiated by Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films on behalf of the filmmakers. International territories are represented by James Norrie of AMP International.