EXCLUSIVE: Elle Fanning and Diego Luna have joined the cast of Clay Jeter’s sci-fi pic IO, a project that was developed at the Sundance Institute’s Writers Lab and Sundance Catalyst Forum. Jeter, who made the 2011 Sundance Film Festival pic Jess + Moss, wrote the script with Will Basanta and Charles Spano.

Sundance InstituteThe character-driven IO, slated to begin production sometime this year, tells the story of a girl’s coming of age while examining the dangers of humanity’s current relationship with the planet. Fanning will play the teen surviving as one of the last people on an abandoned post-cataclysmic Earth, who is racing to find a cure for her poisoned home world before the last shuttle off the planet to the distant human space colony leaves her stranded. Luna will play a complicated and mysterious refugee on his way to the shuttle launch who makes her question whether she can really alter Earth’s fate.

'Jess + Moss' Photocall - 37th Deauville Film Festival“We are so excited for Elle to bring her charisma and fearlessness to the demanding role of the tragically obsessed idealist Sam,” said Jeter. “And Diego’s chameleon-like versatility makes him a perfect choice for the secretive and enigmatic Micah. I’m really looking forward to a creative collaboration with these incredibly talented and committed actors to bring the characters of IO to life.”

Jason Michael Berman and Laura Rister are producing, and Caroline Connor, Matt Lindner, Ryan Lough, Victor Shapiro, Raphael Swann and Ryan Zacarias will also serve in producing capacities. ICM Partners and WME will rep domestic rights.

Fanning is repped by WME and Echo Lake Entertainment, and Luna by WME. Jeter, whose recent credits include helming episodes of Netflix’s Chef’s Table, is repped by ICM Partners.