Lionsgate has been bitten by the zombie bug, acquiring North American distribution rights to the post-apocalyptic Arnold Schwarzenegger-Abigail Breslin thriller "Maggie," the studio announced Tuesday.
Directed by Henry Hobson, a title designer making his feature directing debut, from a Black List screenplay by John Scott 3, "Maggie" is set in a world that has been ravaged by a zombie pandemic. But don't expect Schwarzenegger to be in nonstop action mode: He plays a Midwestern farmer who tries to care for his teenage daughter (Breslin) as she slowly succumbs to a virus that's turning her into a cannibalistic monster.
Schwarzenegger also produced the film, with Bill Johnson, Ara Keshishian, Colin Bates, Joey Tufaro, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam and Matthew Baer.
"'Maggie' has all the ingredients that spell commercial excitement — a compelling script and an A-list superstar surrounded by a world-class cast," said Steve Beeks, co-chief operating officer and motion picture group president at Lionsgate, in a statement. "We're delighted to continue our relationship with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who turns in a performance that marks a dramatic departure from his action persona."
Grounding a zombie movie with an emotional father-daughter story is an intriguing approach that could help "Maggie" stand out among the many undead tales that have swarmed pop culture in recent years. On the other hand, it raises the question of whether moviegoers want to see a quintessential action star or a zombie movie switching things up too much.
Lionsgate plans to release "Maggie" in early 2015.
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