Howitt is directing from an original screenplay that he wrote with Gary Preisler (Kill Chain) who will produce alongside Nadine de Barros of Fortitude International and Sophie Seifried.
Fortitude is financing and representing international sales rights. The firm will be shopping the project in the run up to, and during, the Cannes virtual market next month. This will be one of multiple pandemic-themed projects at the market.
Producers are currently casting and eyeing a September 2020 start date in Los Angeles.
The story begins on March 14th, 2020 – the same day of the real California shutdown – in Santa Monica, California. It follows seven characters over 60 days whose lives intersect as they navigate the new normal that has suddenly been thrust upon the entire world.
Howitt, whose credits also include Laws Of Attraction, Johnny English and Samuel L Jackson thriller Reasonable Doubt, said, “Gary and I wanted to tell a very human story that takes place all across Los Angeles, from the Palisades to Van Nuys to Boyle Heights, and examine how this Lock Down affects many different people such as a tech CEO on the verge of a divorce; a bartender and waitress suddenly out of work; an undocumented Mexican delivery man dealing with a crisis at home; a seventy-year old woman in fear of getting infected; and a teenager who just lost out on graduation and her prom. Tonally, it moves from the absurdly funny to the dramatic and tragic, which is what most interests me, and that’s why I am excited to direct this film.”
Fortitude is currently in post-production on Fatman starring Mel Gibson and Walton Goggins; Love, Weddings & Other Disasters, starring Diane Keaton and Jeremy Irons; and Echo Boomers, starring Michael Shannon, Patrick Schwarzenegger and Alex Pettyfer.
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