LOS ANGELES — RLJ Entertainment and AMC Networks' Shudder are partnering on the North American release of action-thriller "Mayhem," starring Steven Yeun of "The Walking Dead."
The deal was finalized Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival. The film premiered at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival in a story of an airborne virus infecting the corporate tower of a major law firm on the day an attorney, played by Yeun, is wrongfully fired. The infection is capable of making people act out on their most erratic impulses and viral rage takes over. Trapped in the quarantined building, Yeun's character is forced to fearlessly fight for his job, his redemption, and his life.
Joe Lynch directed from a Matias Caruso script. Samara Weaving, Steven Brand ("The Scorpion King"), and Dallas Roberts ("Dallas Buyers Club") also star. Circle of Confusion's Lawrence Mattis and Matt Smith produced in association with Sean Sorensen of Royal Viking Entertainment and financier Avva Pictures with Elie Mehrdad and Parisa Caviani.
Joe Leydon wrote in his SXSW review for Variety: "If you can imagine a multi-movie-mashup of boardroom suspenser, 'Die Hard' redux and zombie apocalypse -- well, too bad, director Joe Lynch and scripter Matias Caruso have already beat you to the punch. 'Mayhem,' their rousingly gonzo thriller about the violent commingling of infectious disease and corporate malfeasance, is a smartly constructed and sardonically funny indie with attitude that somehow manages the tricky feat of being exuberantly over the top even as it remains consistently on target."
RLJE plans to release "Mayhem" in theaters and on demand in the fourth quarter with the Shudder streaming premiere slated for early 2018.
"Joe Lynch's vision is captivating," said RLJE's Mark Ward. "He has the ability to take stories and elevate them with his unique insight and direction."
Ward negotiated the deal with Aurelie de Troyer and Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers.