Within hours of its world premiere at South by South West, Gareth Edward's first feature Monsters was sold to the Wagner/Cuban Company's Magnet Releasing (genre arm of Magnolia Pictures) for North America and Mexico.
In a deal brokered by Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn and Protagonist Pictures CEO Ben Roberts, the Vertigo Films movie premiered at a packed midnight screening in the SX Fantastic section of the festival programmed by Fantastic Fest's Tim League.
Produced by Allan Niblo and James Richardson of Vertigo Films (Bronson, StreetDance), the film was shot as a road movie, traveling through Guatemala, Mexico and the US, involving local people alongside its key cast Scoot McNairy (In Search of a Midnight Kiss) and Whitney Able (All the Boys Love Mandy Lane).
The film is described as follows:
Six years ago previously, a NASA probe returning to earth with samples of an alien life form, crashed over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear, and half of Mexico was quarantined as an "INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain "the creatures"... The story begins when a US journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through the infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.
Tom Quinn commented: "We were blown away by 'Monsters' - I can't think of a more exciting addition to the Magnet slate. Gareth Edwards is an extraordinary talent and we're thrilled to bring his vision to American audiences."
Producers Allan Niblo and James Richardson commented: "Having kept the film a secret for so long, Vertigo is thrilled to have Magnet not only discover it at this year's SXSW Fest but immediately become our US partner on this groundbreaking movie. We are all looking forward to releasing 'Monsters' together onto an unsuspecting world."
With a background in visual effects, Gareth Edwards has created BAFTA award-winning and Emmy-nominated visual effects and recently broke new ground directing the epic drama Attila the Hun for the BBC, creating all the 250 visual effects himself. Winning SciFi London's 48 hour film contest led to Monsters, his feature film debut, which he wrote, shot and directed.