EXCLUSIVE: Kiernan Shipka, who played Sally Draper in Mad Men, is set to star in horror director John Leonetti’s next feature The Silence from Constantin Film and EMJAG Productions. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is launching international sales on the project in Cannes next week.
Project is produced by Robert Kulzer (Resident Evil), Alexandra Milchan (Wolf of Wall Street) and Scott Lambert (AMC’s The Terror) with Constantin CEO Martin Moszkowicz, the prolific German industry veteran behind the Resident Evil franchise, exec producing.
The Silence is based on the best-selling novel by fantasy-horror writer Tim Lebbon (Star Wars: Into The Void and The Cabin in the Woods) and is adapted by The Van Dyke Brothers, Carey and Shane (Chernobyl Diaries). The project is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to begin principal photography in September.
Story follows the terrifying tale of Ally, a deaf teenager, and her family whose world is turned upside down by a deadly and primeval force. In the fields near her New Jersey home, a colony of bats are attacked by a parasitic insect and soon morph into a new lethal species called Vesps. As the blind, winged creatures quickly grow, spread and attack the human population, Ally’s heightened senses become her strength. She can feel when the Vesps are close and realizes that even the slightest noise summons them in huge numbers. She and her family seek refuge in the woods where they must live in total silence. Amidst the creature chaos, they learn that humans can be just as dangerous when they are fighting to survive.
Teen actress Shipka starred as Sally Draper, the oldest child of Don and Betty Draper, in AMC’s Mad Men for eight years. She recently starred in Ryan Murphy’s TV mini-series Feud: Bette and Joan opposite Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange. Prior to that, she starred opposite Emma Roberts in horror thriller The Blackcoat’s Daughter.
Leonetti is the director behind horror-thriller Annabelle, which took $250M at the worldwide box office. His most recent feature, Wish Upon, starring Joey King, Sherilyn Fenn, Shannon Purser and Ryan Philippe, bows in the U.S. on July 14 via Broad Green Pictures.
The Van Dyke Brothers, who penned Oren Peli’s Chernobyl Diaries, wrote sci-fi horror feature The Watching Hour, which is currently at New Line. They’ve also sold their sci-fi feature Dreamland to Sony, with Will Smith’s Overbrook producing. The duo are currently working on The Rift, a supernatural drama TV series that they wrote and sold to UTV with Blumhouse producing and recently penned Possession 2 for Sam Raimi and Lionsgate.
Meanwhile, Constantin’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter grossed $312.2M at the global box office earlier this year, pushing the franchise past the $1B mark and making it the biggest video-game-based franchise of all time.
Shipka is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content. Leonetti and the Van Dyke Brothers are repped by CAA.