EXCLUSIVE: Joel Edgerton is in talks to star in It Comes At Night, a thriller written and to be directed by Trey Edward Shults, which A24 will produce and distribute domestically. Edgerton will play a father who will stop at nothing to protect his wife and son from a malevolent, mysterious presence terrorizing them right outside their doorstep.

Shults wrote and directed Krisha, which became part of a two-picture deal with A24 along with this new pic, which is being produced by Animal Kingdom’s David Kaplan along with Andrea Roa. A24 also produces. WME negotiated the two-picture deal.  Shults’ Krisha won the Special Jury and Audience awards for feature film at SXSW, where A24 picked it up and also committed to make his next film.Krisha follows an alcoholic woman struggling to reconnect with her family after years of distance. It is Shult’s first feature. Made on a tiny budget raised primarily through Kickstarter, it’s a family affair, with his aunt, actress Krisha Fairchild, in the title role, with his mother, Robyn Fairchild and his grandmother in pivotal other roles. Shults also wrote and directed the shorts Two on One (2011) and Mother and Son (2010).

While Edgerton has placed himself in the Oscar discussion after the Focus Features premiere of Loving, in which he and Ruth Negga star in the Jeff Nichols-directed film about the landmark civil rights case, he also most recently made a splash directing and starring in the thriller The Gift, which became a hit for STX Entertainment.

A24 has establised itself as one of the brightest indie distribs on the block and are gearing up their producing activities as well as their international reach. The company acquired Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer in a splashy Cannes deal, and is also handling the global release of Daniel Radcliffe-Paul Dano starrer Swiss Army Man in A24’s first world rights move. The company is currently talking to a number of distributors in major markets about the film.

A24 has also shown impeccable taste in its first four years. Films it acquired won three Oscars at the 2016 Academy Awards: Best Actress for Brie Larson’s performance in Room; Best Documentary for Amy; and Best Visual Effects for Ex Machina. Upcoming titles include Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room; and Andrea Arnold’s potential Cannes entry American Honey.

Edgerton is repped by CAA and attorney Bob Wallerstein. Shults is repped by WME.