Orion Pictures, the iconic, nostalgic studio brand recently revived after years in bankruptcy, will release a zombie Christmas musical, Anna and the Apocalypse, this December.
Based on the 2010 BAFTA-winning short Zombie Musical, the genre mash-up follows Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends as they hack, slash and sing their way in a desperate race to save their loved ones during a zombie apocalypse – at Christmas.
This is hardly the first zombie genre mash-up, of course; they have been around for years on and off, but have surged since the popularity of 2004's Shaun of the Dead. In 2015, The CW launched iZombie, a "rom-com-zom-dram" (romantic comedy zombie drama) based on the cult-hit DC Comics series by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred. Last year, Netflix debuted a strikingly similar series, The Santa Clarita Diet, which focuses less on the intrigue and crime elements that shape iZombie episodes and more on the absurd situations of being a functional zombie in modern society would bring.
Along the way, there have been numerous attempts to frame zombies as romantic foils following the success of doing the same with vampires in Twilight...and of course, before he went on to become a huge superstar with his creator-owned series The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman tackled zombie superheroes in the absurdist and ultraviolent Marvel Zombies.
The film is directed by John McPhail (Where Do We Go From Here?), and features a cast of young up-and-comers including Ella Hunt (Robot Overlords), Malcom Cummings, Ben Wiggins, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Marli Siu, Mark Benton (The Halcyon) and Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones).
Written by Alan McDonald and the late Ryan McHenry (Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal videos), the film also features original music by Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly.
Orion Pictures has set Anna and the Apocalypse to open in select theaters on Dec. 7, 2018 with a nationwide rollout planned for subsequent weeks. The film had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin, garnering critical acclaim and quickly became an audience favorite going on to play at Sitges Film Festival where it won Best Midnight X-Treme Feature.