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Elijah Wood, Leigh Whannell, and Steven Schneider Want to Give You Cooties

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Elijah Wood, Leigh Whannell, and Steven Schneider Want to Give You CootiesSynchronicity Entertainment has unveiled its debut slate of three new feature films, which include horror project Cooties from writer Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) and producer Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity franchise) starring Elijah Wood.

From the Press Release:
Synchronicity Entertainment is the new genre film production and international sales label launched by Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel’s The Solution Entertainment Group. The other two features are the thriller DUE PROCESS, starring Golden Globe nominee John Cusack, and the completed psychological thriller SMILEY.

Starring Elijah Wood (pictured above; Maniac, The Hobbit), COOTIES is produced by top horror film producer Steven Schneider, who is behind the hugely successful PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise. Wood is also set to co-produce COOTIES with partners Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller under his new horror film production company, The Woodshed, which recently announced the films TOAD ROAD and A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT.

COOTIES is co-written by horror powerhouse Leigh Whannell, who penned and executive produced the SAW films and wrote INSIDIOUS, with Ian Brennan –writer and co-creator of Fox’s “Glee.” To be directed by Ace Norton, the film begins when a mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the pre-adolescent children into a feral swarm of mindless savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives against the monstrous pupils.

Set to start production in April 2013, COOTIES is executive produced by The Solution, who arranged the financing. Writers Whannell and Brennan are also executive producers on the film. Paradigm is handling North American rights.

COOTIES will be shot in Los Angeles utilizing the production and state-of=the-art post-production facilities at Siren Studios, The Solution’s partner in Synchronicity. This falls in line with The Solution’s strategy to provide a fully integrated film finance, international sales, production, and post-production company to benefit their production partners.

“My friend Ian Brennan and I wanted to write a film about one of life’s most universal experiences – hatred for precocious, adorable children. And so we started work on Cooties, a film about a virus that turns school children into monsters and therefore makes it okay to beat them up with hockey sticks,” said Whannell.

Related Story: Elijah Wood Launches Horror Label The Woodshed

As for the rest of the slate, DUE PROCESS is a thriller starring John Cusack to be directed by Paul Currie (ONE PERFECT DAY) from a script by Anthony Derrico. Produced by Mark Holder, Christine Holder, and Mark Williams of Zero Gravity Management (FLAWLESS), the film will begin shooting in January 2013. It tells the harrowing story of two big city bankers who head to a farm to foreclose it but get more than they bargained for when the farmer (Cusack) is not willing to hand it over.

“What’s interesting about DUE PROCESS is that it meshes the socially relevant reality of a personal financial housing crisis with gut-wrenching twists and turns of a taunt thriller,” said Christine Holder. Williams added, “Myles and Lisa partnering up has made The Solution a very viable sales and finance company with friendly faces and a great work ethic. I’m thrilled they are on the DUE PROCESS team.”

Rounding things out is SMILEY, starring Caitlin Gerard (MAGIC MIKE), Keith David (CLOUD ATLAS), and Roger Bart (HOSTEL II). Making its market premiere at AFM, SMILEY is directed by YouTube sensation Michael Gallagher (“Totally Sketch”), who wrote the script with Glasgow Phillips (Comedy Central’s “South Park”). The film is produced by Michael Wormser (SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE) and executive produced by Cindy Cowan (RED LIGHTS), Cynthia Shelton Droke, Gallagher, and Phillips. The film focuses on a mentally fragile teen who must decide whether she is going insane or will be the next victim after she discovers an urban legend of a demented serial killer, who has nothing but a carved ‘smiley’ on his face.

The film also co-stars a number of social media mega stars (Shane Dawson, Toby Turner, DeStorm Power, etc.) that boast a combined subscriber base of 11 million global fans. As a result, the SMILEY trailer has over 19 million views and counting.

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“Our debut slate represents some of the most successful and talented filmmakers making genre films today and the very best in up-and-coming talent. With PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 number one at the US box office, it’s good to know the desire for brilliantly made genre films continues to thrive,” said Kegeyan and Nestel. “Keeping production and post-production in Los Angeles and utilizing our facilities at Siren Studios is also a key driver for us. It streamlines the whole filmmaking process, and that has to be good for everyone,” continued Nestel.

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