by Jaime Lang
AMC Networks’ genre-focused streaming platform Shudder has acquired the rights to horror maestro Gustavo Hernández’s “Virus: 32” in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.
The deal was closed between Shudder and Pip Ngo from XYZ, CAA Media Finance and Juan Torres from Latido Films. Spanish sales powerhouse Latido is selling the film and has been showing it to buyers at this year’s European Film Market.
A high-profile title to track since it was first unveiled at the virtual Cannes Market in 2020, “Virus: 32” stars Paula Silva (“In the Quarry”) and former Berlin Silver Bear winner Daniel Hendler (“Lost Embrace”) in a story about a rapidly spreading virus which transforms people into intelligent, ultra-violent, extra-fast zombie hunters. However, after each wave of attack by the monsters, they’re left incapacitated for 32 seconds while they recover their strength, hence the name of the virus and the film’s title.
“Virus: 32” focuses its gaze on a single mother who works as the overnight guard at an abandoned sports club, forced by circumstance to bring her daughter with her each night. During one of her shifts, the aggressive zombies invade the complex and the mother must fight to recover her daughter.
The film is produced by Sebastián Aloi’s Aeroplano in Argentina and Hernández and Ignacio Garcia Cucucovich’s Mother Superior Films in Uruguay. It had its market premiere during the EFM.
“With ‘Virus: 32,’ director Gustavo Hernández builds a lean, mean and terrifying thrill ride of a mother desperately trying to save her daughter from a zombie apocalypse. Combined with a stunning visual aesthetic, we know the film will delight genre fans everywhere,” said Emily Gotto, VP of global acquisitions and co-productions at Shudder who helped negotiate the deal.
For his part, Torres added: “We are committed to bringing high level genre movies from Hispanic countries like ‘Virus-32’ and we are confident that Shudder, XYZ and CAA Media Finance are the perfect partners for this title.”
Hernández is one of Latin America’s most exciting genre filmmakers, having impressed with his Directors’ Fortnight player “The Silent House” – remade in the U.S. with Elizabeth Olsen – and Tribeca-player “You Shall Not Sleep.”
The English-language market deals continue a fine run of sales for the film which was acquired early on by Contents Gate Co. in South Korea, Edko Films in Hong Kong and Bodhi Films for Southeast Asia.
Latido has told Variety that deals for several other Asian markets are in advanced negotiations, that an announcement from France is imminent and that several German-speaking territories have shown interest.
In Latin America, Buena Vista will release the film this spring.