EFM: Good Universe has closed a host of international sales heading into the EFM on Lava Bear’s supernatural thriller led by a major deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA).

Good Universe and Lava Bear said rights have gone in 25 territories including a slew for SPWA in Australia and New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Iceland, Israel, Portugal, Scandinavia, South Africa, Spain and all Asia excluding Japan.

Icon will distribute in the UK, Splendid in Germany, Switzerland and Benelux, Grand Cinema in the Middle East and SUN Distribution in Latin America.

Michiel Huisman joins Natalie Dormer on The Forest, which takes place in Japan’s Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt Fuji as a young American woman searches for her missing sister.

Once she strays from the path the woman encounters tormented souls of the dead.

Production is set for May. Jason Zada directs from Sarah Cornwell and Nick Antosca’s rewrite and based on an original idea by David S Goyer.

Lava Bear Films is producing with Goyer via his Phantom Four banner. Lava Bear president Tory Metzger oversees production.

Focus Features acquired North American distribution rights and has scheduled a wide release on January 8, 2016.  

Aokigahara is a notorious suicide site and is the subject of Gus Van Sant’s unrelated film The Sea Of Trees starring Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe.