Ambitious new independent Echo Bridge Entertainment has acquiredworldwide rights to Tobe Hooper's upcoming horror picture Mortuary whichit says is its first theatrical acquisition.

Production on the film is scheduled to begin in July, with awinter 2005 release planned. It marks the latest horror flick from Hooper whosecredits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, TV miniseries Salem'sLot, Poltergeist, Fun House, Invaders From Mars, Life Force and TheMangler.

Keith Vanderlaan will act as a co-producer on the film andsupervise the special effects on the picture through his effects outfit CaptiveAudience Productions which worked on Van Helsing, The Passion Of The Christand Pirates Of The Caribbean among others. He will produce with TonyDiDio of D&K Screen Fund I and Evan and Peter Katz.

The film is about a family who move to a small town inMassachussetts to run a funeral home which lies on haunted land. It was writtenby Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch, who scripted Hooper's Crockodile andJean-Claude Van Damme-starrer Derailed.

Echo Bridge managing partner Michael Rosenblatt made theannouncement with DiDio; selling the film at Cannes are head of internationalsales Dan March and sales and marketing consultant Lenny Shapiro.