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Today, Saban Films has announced its closing on U.S. distribution rights to “The Girl with All the Gifts,” directed by Colm McCarthy (“Peaky Blinders,” “Sherlock”), adapted by M.R. Carey from his own novel of the same title.
Produced by Camille Gatin and Angus Lamont, the story is set in the near future, when humanity has been all but destroyed by a disease that eradicates free will and turns its victims into flesh-eating “hungries.” Only a small group of children seem immune to its effects. At an army base in rural England, this group of unique children are being studied, subjected to cruel experiments by biologist Dr. Caldwell. Despite having been infected with the zombie pathogen that has decimated the world, these children retain normal thoughts and emotions. And while still being subject to the craving for human flesh that marks the disease, these second-generation “hungries” are able to think and feel, making them a vital resource in the search for a cure. But one little girl, named Melanie, stands out from the rest. Melanie is “special.” She excels in the classroom, is inquisitive, imaginative and loves her favorite teacher Miss Justineau. When the base falls to the “hungries,” Melanie escapes along with Miss Justineau, Sergeant Parks and Dr. Caldwell. Against the backdrop of a blighted Britain, Melanie must discover what she is and ultimately decide both her own future and that of the human race.
The post-apocalyptic thriller stars Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Glenn Close, and 12-year-old Sennia Nanua, in her breakthrough performance, as Melanie.
“Carey has adapted his novel into a film with an unmatched level of cataclysm,” said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley. “’The Girl with All the Gifts’ is a sophisticated movie, with McCarthy’s vision and this dynamic cast, and we know that our audiences will be hooked from start to finish.”
Director Colm McCarthy said of casting Sennia Nanua: “Sennia walked into the room as the last of 500 girls I’d met and just shone. She has taken being the lead actress in a film with Glenn, Gemma and Paddy in her stride and completely inhabits this amazing character. She’s a very special girl.”
The BFI (British Film Institute) and Creative England financed the film.
Bill Bromiley and Ness Saban negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films with Altitude’s Mike Runagall representing the filmmakers.
Altitude Film Sales is handling ROW sales. Warner Bros UK will release the film in the UK.
Saban Films most recently acquired domestic rights to John Michael McDonagh’s “War on Everyone,” starring Michael Peña, Alexander Skarsgård, Theo James, and Tessa Thompson; Rob Zombie’s “31,” starring Sheri Moon Zombie, Malcolm McDowell, Jeff Daniel Phillips and Meg Foster; and Renny Harlin’s action comedy “Skiptrace,” starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville, out of Berlin. Additional upcoming titles in the Saban Films slate include: sci-fi horror film “Cell” starring John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson and Isabelle Fuhrman; and “I Am Wrath” with John Travolta.