First CELL Image Reveals the Latest Stephen King Adaptation

     February 5, 2015


Today, Clarius Entertainment has announced that they have acquired the U.S. rights to the upcoming horror thriller Cell, based on Stephen King‘s best-selling novel (he also adapted the screenplay). International Film Trust is handling foreign rights, currently on the market at EFM.

The film is being directed by Tod “Kip” Williams (Paranormal Activity 2), and stars John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman (The Hunger Games) and Stacy Keach (Nebraska). It’s set for a wide theatrical release later this year.

As for the image, it doesn’t reveal almost anything except for chaos in the background (well, I say that — I recognize it as being here in Atlanta, and it doesn’t usually look all that different). Cusack wields a baseball bat, Fuhrman has a crowbar, and Sam Jackson has … a mailbag?

The synopsis for the film is as follows:

When a powerful signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, cell phone users’ minds are instantly and dangerously re-programmed. Heading north through New England in search of his wife and son, Clay Riddell (Cusack) is joined by a group of survivors hoping to fend off the bloodthirsty and hyper-connected “phoners.”


And here is the press release about Clarius Entertainment and the full deal:

BERLIN, GERMANY (February 6, 2015) – Clarius Entertainment has acquired US rights to Benaroya Pictures and The Genre Company’s thriller CELL directed by Tod “Kip” Williams (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2) and starring John Cusack (upcoming LOVE & MERCY, LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER) and Oscar-nominated Samuel L. Jackson (upcoming KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, DJANGO UNCHAINED), it was announced today by the film’s producers Michael Benaroya and Richard Saperstein.


International Film Trust (IFT) is handling foreign rights to the film, which they are actively selling at the European Film Market.


“We are so glad to be working with Clarius, who recognize the broad commercial appeal of this high-concept genre film starring an impressive cast who deliver exceptional performances,” said Benaroya.


“I’m proud of the film we’ve made and excited to work with the strong, experienced team at Clarius on what I know will be a successful release,” said Saperstein.


“CELL is an exciting addition to our slate, with solid pedigree both in front of and behind the camera and a wild ride of a story for our cell phone-dependent culture,” said Louise Chater, Clarius’ acquisition head. “Our team is very much looking forward to working with these filmmakers and bringing the film into the US marketplace.”


Set to be a wide theatrical release later this year, CELL also stars Isabelle Fuhrman (THE HUNGER GAMES) and Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach (NEBRASKA, THE BOURNE LEGACY).  When a powerful signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, cell phone users’ minds are instantly and dangerously re-programmed. Heading north through New England in search of his wife and son, Clay Riddell (Cusack) is joined by a group of survivors hoping to fend off the bloodthirsty and hyper-connected “phoners.”


CELL is produced by Michael Benaroya (LAWLESS, MARGIN CALL), Richard Saperstein (SE7EN, HANCOCK), Brian Witten (CHERNOBYL DIARIES, FRIDAY THE 13TH) and Shara Kay (SILENT NIGHT). While he was President of Dimension Films, Saperstein oversaw the Stephen King adaptations, THE MIST, directed by Frank Darabont, and 1408, which also starred Cusack and Jackson, and grossed over $130 million worldwide.


Based on the best-selling apocalyptic novel by Stephen King, the screenplay for CELL was written by King, with revisions by Adam Alleca (LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT) and Mark Leyner (WAR INC.). John Cusack, Paddy Cullen, Edward Mokhtarian, Armen Aghaeian, Xavier Gens, Laurence Freed, Stephen Hays, Peter Graham, Ben Sachs, Tyler Hawes, Brian Pope, Geno Tazioli, Marina Grasic and Jan Korbelin are executive producers and Mark Leyner, Ben Insler and James Lejsek are co-producers.


The deal is being negotiated by Nick Ogiony at CAA and Ben Weiss at Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers and William Sadleir from Clarius Entertainment.



International Film Trust (IFT) is an international sales and distribution company operated by producers for producers.  With over 20 years of experience in producing, finance, international sales and distribution, IFT has the knowledge and relationships to cultivate strategic partnerships with A-list producers and filmmakers.  Transparent by their design in their business practices IFT is a company that understands and honors the four pillars that sustain the global film marketplace: Creativity, Finance, Sales and Distribution.


IFT’s slate includes John Pogue’s WAKE starring Bruce Willis; IDOL’S EYE starring Robert De Niro and Robert Pattinson; YOU SHALL KNOW OUR VELOCITY starring Daniel Radcliffe and based on Dave Eggers’ best-selling novel; Mark Polish’s HEADLOCK starring Andy Garcia, Dianna Agron and Justin Bartha; the upcoming CYMBELINE starring Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich and Dakota Johnson and will be theatrically released on March 13th, 2015 by Lionsgate; comedy THE KING OF THE KASTLE starring Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver and Asa Butterfield and produced by Jonathan Gordon (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK) and Michael Benaroya; Tod Williams’ (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2) action thriller CELL starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, which is currently in post-production; YOUR VOICE IN MY HEAD written by acclaimed novelist Emma Forrest and adapted from her New York Times best-seller; and the horror thriller EXISTS, and was acquired from producers Robin Cowie (THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT), Jane Fleming (THE FROZEN GROUND), Mark Ordesky (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), Andy Jenkins, and executive produced by Reed Frerichs, Gregg Hale, George Waud and D. Todd Shepherd;.



Michael Benaroya has numerous upcoming film projects including the highly-anticipated QUEEN OF THE DESERT, which is opening at the Berlin Film Festival, directed by Werner Herzog and starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson and Damien Lewis, and YOU SHALL KNOW OUR VELOCITY starring Daniel Radcliffe, based on the Dave Eggers’ best-selling book and to be directed by Peter Sollett. YOU SHALL KNOW OUR VELOCITY recently sold out across the world after a major multi territory deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA).

Additional projects in various stages of production include KING OF THE KASTLE starring Clive Owen, which will shoot this summer; and HEADLOCK, written and directed by Mark Polish, starring Dianna Agron, Justin Bartha and Andy Garcia. The company also has ANARCHY starring Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke and Mila Jovovich which will have an upcoming theatrical release through Grindstone Entertainment.

Benaroya’s film credits include KILL YOUR DARLINGS, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DaHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, and Elizabeth Olsen, which was released domestically last year by Sony Pictures Classics. Other titles include the romantic mystery THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper, and LAWLESS, starring Shia LaBeouf. The company’s financial thriller MARGIN CALL was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and won the Best First Feature Award at the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards.


Founded in 2012, Clarius Entertainment is an independent film marketing and distribution company based in Los Angeles. Clarius Entertainment finances prints and advertising (P&A) through sister company Clarius Capital Group, LLC to mount strategic domestic theatrical marketing and distribution campaigns for producing partners.

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