US deal for Wolf Creek 2

Image Entertainment has picked up US rights to writer-director Greg Mclean’s horror/thriller Wolf Creek 2.

The sequel, which Roadshow will release on February 20, got mostly glowing reviews at the world premiere in the Venice Film Festival.

US distributors saw the film at a market screening at the Toronto International Film Festival and Mclean was confident a US deal would close soon afterwards.

John Jarratt returns as laconic, grinning pig shooter Mick Taylor as he encounters three backpackers, a Pom and two Germans, played by Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn and Philippe Klaus in the Outback.

The Weinstein Company’s Dimension Films released the original in the US in 2005, making a tidy $US16.3 million. The worldwide gross was $27.7 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

"My co-producer Helen Leake and I are very excited to be working with Image," Mclean tells IF.  "They are a super smart company who specialise in the genre space,  saw and loved the movie, immediately recognising the picture's potential broad appeal with US audiences. The first movie played extremely well here in the States and we can't wait till Mick is unleashed once more."

After the first Wolf Creek, Mclean met many people who told him they hadn’t seen it because they feared it would be too terrifying. So he designed the follow-up to appeal equally to fans of the original and to cinemagoers who aren’t into intense, extreme horror.

Mclean and horror novelist Aaron Sterns wrote the screenplay. Image will release the film in 2014. Gary Hamilton’s Arclight Films sold the title internationally.

A few days ago Image acquired  US rights to Brian Trenchard-Smith's action thriler Drive Hard, which was filmed on the Gold Coast, starring John Cusack and Thomas Jane.