Clarius Entertainment has acquired US rights to Benaroya Pictures and The Genre Company’s thriller Cell, directed by Tod “Kip” Williams (Paranormal Activity 2) and starring John Cusack (Maps to the Stars, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Oscar-nominated Samuel L. Jackson (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Django Unchained), it was announced today by the film’s producers Michael Benaroya and Richard Saperstein.
Set to be a wide theatrical release later this year, CELL also stars Isabelle Fuhrman (The Hunger Games) and Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach (Nebraska, The Bourne Legacy). When a powerful signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, cell phone users’ minds are instantly and dangerously re-programmed. Heading north through New England in search of his wife and son, Clay Riddell (Cusack) is joined by a group of survivors hoping to fend off the bloodthirsty and hyper-connected “phoners.”
“We are so glad to be working with Clarius, who recognize the broad commercial appeal of this high-concept genre film starring an impressive cast who deliver exceptional performances,” said Benaroya.
“I’m proud of the film we’ve made and excited to work with the strong, experienced team at Clarius on what I know will be a successful release,” said Saperstein.
“‘Cell’ is an exciting addition to our slate, with solid pedigree both in front of and behind the camera and a wild ride of a story for our cell phone-dependent culture,” said Louise Chater, Clarius’ acquisition head. “Our team is very much looking forward to working with these filmmakers and bringing the film into the US marketplace.”
Cell is produced by Michael Benaroya (Lawless, Margin Call), Richard Saperstein (Se7en, Hancock), Brian Witten (Chernobyl Diaries) and Shara Kay (Silent Night). While he was President of Dimension Films, Saperstein oversaw the Stephen King adaptations, The Mist, directed by Frank Darabont, and 1408, which also starred Cusack and Jackson, and grossed over $130 million worldwide.
Based on the best-selling apocalyptic novel by Stephen King, the screenplay for Cell was written by King, with revisions by Adam Alleca (Last House on the Left) and Mark Leyner (War Inc.).