Jason Zada to direct the supernatural thriller; Good Universe partners with Lava Bear on international sales

Focus Features has acquired North American distribution rights to Lava Bear Films and Phantom Four’s supernatural thriller The Forest.

Good Universe has partnered with Lava Bear to handle international sales on the film.

Jason Zada directs from a script rewritten by Sarah Cornwell and based on an original idea by screenwriter David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel).  

Lava Bear Films is producing the film along with Goyer and Nellie Reed under his Phantom Four banner. 

Focus Features plans to release the film on January 8, 2016. 

Peter Schlessel, CEO of Focus Features, said: “The Forest will be a cinematic journey to a dark and terrifying place and I’m happy to be on that journey with Jason Zada, David Goyer, David Linde, and Tory Metzger.  The supernatural scares of the The Forest will be something that will genuinely thrill audiences.”

David Linde, founder of Lava Bear, added: “This film originated from one of our first meetings at Lava Bear, and I am especially excited to see it come together with everyone in such a thrilling form.”

The film is about a young American woman whose twin sister mysteriously disappears; she travels to Japan’s legendary Aokigahara Forest, where people go to end their lives. 

Zada has worked on commercials and music videos as well as the interactive short Take This Lollipop.

Tory Metzger, president of Lava Bear, will oversee the production of the film. 

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Focus by Beth Lemberger, Focus Features’ EVP of Business Affairs, with attorney David Boyle representing Lava Bear.

Goyer is represented by WME and Zada is represented by UTA.