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A bidding war has begun for the rights to Aftershock, a genre thriller from Chilean director Nicolas Lopez that stars and is being produced by Eli Roth, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Lopez and Guillermo Amoedo. Deadline, which reports the multiple offers for film rights, says The Weinstein Company and Relativity Media are the top contenders in the race for distribution, but that a sale hasn’t yet been finalized.
Why the interest? Well, Aftershock marks the English-language debut of Lopez, whose previous two films -- Que Pena Tu Vida and Que Pena Tu Boda -- were the highest-grossing Chilean films in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Nicolas Lopez since his remarkable debut, Promedio Rojo, and have watched him grow into one of the best young filmmakers out there,” Roth said. “This collaboration marks the beginning of what we call Chilewood, making genre films for the global market using all the resources Chile has to offer. We are making a smart elevated disaster genre movie with superb production value, something really big. The film’s going to be very scary, very intense, and very real.”
To that end, the premise sounds incredibly cool. Set on an isolated island in the wake of a devastating earthquake, Aftershock follows the denizens of an insane asylum who are freed by the tremor. Roth plays the lead character, and the site hints that pop sensation Selena Gomez actually filmed a cameo for the film while she was in Chile performing a concert. Possible Wizards of Waverly Place crossover? One can only hope.
As is noted in the story, Roth found success producing the low-budget The Last Exorcism, which just recently announced a planned sequel. You know whichever distributor picks up Aftershock is hoping for a hit of equal proportions. We’ll see if that plays out.