Neon has acquired the rights to Handling the Undead, a new horror drama that will see Worst Person In The World co-stars Renate Reinsve and Anders Danielsen Lie reunite. The independent film distributor has picked up the UK and North American rights to the film, which is being directed by Thea Hvistendahl.
The film is based on the horror novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, a Neon favourite who also penned the book that became Border as well as Let The Right One In, which has received two film adaptations and will soon be turned into a Showtime series.
Handling the Undead takes place on one abnormally hot day in Oslo. As many citizens are escaping the heat in their homes, a strange electrical field surrounds the town, creating a collective migraine and causing electronics around the city to malfunction.
In the midst of the chaos, the deceased return to life, leaving their unwitting family members to deal with the emotions of grief that come with seeing their loved ones again, often in horrific states.
The book is reportedly more of a character-driven zombie tale, bringing three families together in a battle against their loss and what they can’t control. Rather than make the dead explicitly threatening, Lindqvist wanted to show how the world would react to the return of their lost family members and the work done by authorities to keep everything under control.
Lindqvist has also co-written the screenplay himself alongside Hvistendahl, who will make her directorial debut with the film.
Neon’s acquisition of the project makes sense if they’re banking on people being drawn to Reinsve, who was a revelation in Joachim Trier‘s The Worst Person In The World. Her and Danielsen Lie earned widespread acclaim for the film, and hopefully they can build on it with this.
Filming on Handling the Undead is currently underway.