EXCLUSIVE: Production set for autumn 2012 on dark comedy starring Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Walken.

eOne has picked up international sales rights to Errol Morris’ dark comedy Freezing People is Easy, starring Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Walken.

Inspired by Bob Nelson’s memoir We Froze the First Man and an episode of This American Life, the film charts the true story of a Los Angeles television repairman (Rudd) who attempts to pioneer the field of life-extension through a new technology called cryonics, but soon discovers that freezing dead people so scientists can reanimate them in the future is a lot more difficult than he imagined. 

The deal was negotiated by Charlotte Mickie and Christina Kubacki for eOne Films International and WME Global. WME Global and UTA are co-repping North American rights to the film.

Steven Zaillian and Garrett Basch at Film Rites produce alongside Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp. Zach Helm wrote the screenplay.

The film is Morris’ second foray from documentaries after 1991 drama The Dark Wind.

“As soon as I heard this story, I thought: this is the movie I’ve always wanted to make.  A story about a universal human desire: to defeat death,” said director Morris, famed for a number of classic documentaries. “It’s funny, dark, sometimes bizarre and always utterly human.  It’s a story about hope and the belief in science as our savior, about a good guy who winds up doing bad things but remains optimistic about a future where no one dies. I love this time period, the gleaming cars and the contentedness of American suburbia; the belief that, having put a man on the moon, we could do just about anything. Of all the stories that I’ve directed as documentaries, written as articles or books – this is the one that immediately spoke to me as a feature film. Each actor attached is a director’s dream. I feel lucky to be working with such talent, and can’t wait to make this movie.”

“We’re thrilled to represent this project at Cannes. Errol’s passion and vision for this project are evident. He has an acute understanding of both the humour and the darkness of this unique story. We’ve seen Errol lead the pack as a documentary filmmaker and we’re excited to see him bring his immeasurable talents to a feature film that suits his sensibilities so well,” said Sally Caplan, managing director, eOne Films International.“The talent attached to this project is top notch and a tribute to this extraordinary director and the highly-intriguing script.It really is the full package.”