Magnolia snaps up rights to Signal at Sundance

The Sundance bidding frenzy has kicked into gear over the past few days – and it seems that some studios aren’t letting silly things like sleep get in the way of a good film.

Magnolia Pictures entered into final negotiations for North American, UK and Australian rights to the horror flick, The Signal, after representatives caught the film’s midnight screening.

All well and good, you might think – but there’s more to this story than meets the eye. The suits may have enjoyed it, but the Signal’s plot will certainly sound familiar to die-hard horror fans.

Telling a tale that’ll send technophobes straight to the nearest camp site with only a tent for company, The Signal sees every mobile phone, radio and TV in a major city being invaded by a weird transmission that turns its citizens into psychotic killers.

Eli Roth’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell, on the other hand – due to start production in the spring – tells the completely different story of a weird transmission (known as ‘The Pulse’) that’s sent out to every person in Boston, turning its citizens into psychotic killers.

The Signal is sure to beat Cell to cinemas, but King’s book hit shelves early last year, so it’s anyone’s guess as to who had the idea first. One thing’s for sure, we won’t be answering our phones for a bit...