The Wagner/Cuban Company's Magnet Releasing, genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, announced today they have acquired worldwide rights to John Dies at the End, a phantasmagoric new sci-fi/horror film directed, produced and written for the screen by auteur and cult legend Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep, the Phantasm series). Starring Paul Giamatti (who executive produced with Daniel Carey), Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman and Doug Jones, the film was also produced by M3 Creative's Brad Baruh, Andy Meyers and Roman Perez, and based on the bestselling book by David Wong.
Paul Giamatti plays Arnie, a shadowy figure investigating a street drug known as Soy Sauce. Promising an out-of-body experience with each hit, Soy Sauce causes users to drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and Dave (Mayes and Williamson), a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't.
John Dies at the End premiered as a work in progress at this year's Sundance film festival, kicking off an impressive festival run that included SXSW and the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, where the final cut of the film will premiere as the closing night film of Midnight Madness. Magnet will release the film this year through its Ultra VOD program, debuting it on all VOD platforms in late December, with a theatrical release to follow in early 2013.
"We are longtime fans of the great Don Coscarelli, and fell in love with this film when it debuted at Sundance," said Magnolia/Magnet President Eamonn Bowles. "It's a real head trip - imaginative, wildly funny, and incredibly demented, with all the makings of an underground classic that fans will come back to again and again."
Coscarelli adds, "It is my great pleasure to be allied with the finest and most entrepreneurial independent film distributor in the terrific team at Magnolia Pictures. They share my passion for the story of Dave and John. Obviously the "Soy Sauce" that kicks the plot into gear has had the same addictive effect on them as it did me. Watch out!"
The deal was negotiated by Magnet/Magnolia Director of Acquisitions Peter Van Steemburg with the filmmakers.