EXCLUSIVE: Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer have been cast in Invasion, a sci-fi thriller pic from BAFTA-winning UK filmmaker Michael Pearce (Beast).
I can also reveal that Amazon Studios has taken worldwide rights to the project and will produce alongside American Animals outfit Raw and UK funder Film4, which backed development.
The script is written by Pearce with Joe Barton (The Ritual). It follows two young brothers who go on the run with their father, a decorated Marine (Ahmed), who is trying to protect them from an unhuman threat. As the journey takes them in increasingly dangerous and unexpected directions, the boys will need to confront hard truths and leave their childhood behind. The film is aiming to shoot in the States this year.
Producers are Raw’s Dimitri Doganis (Three Identical Strangers), Piers Vellacott (American Animals) and Derrin Schlesinger (The Nest). Film4’s Daniel Battsek, Ollie Madden and Julia Oh are executive producing. Kate Churchill and Jenny Hinkey will also executive produce.
Pearce’s Beast, which was a breakout film for stars Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn, scored the director an Outstanding Debut BAFTA alongside producer Lauren Dark (now senior commissioner at Film4).
Ahmed is coming off Sound Of Metal, which Amazon will release in the U.S. later this year, and 2020 Berlin premiere Mogul Mowgli. He is an Emmy-winner and Golden Globe nominee for HBO series The Night Of.
Oscar-winning actress Spencer picked up her first Emmy nomination last night for her lead role in Self-Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam CJ Walker. Next year, she will be seen starring opposite Anne Hathaway in The Witches which is based on the popular Roald Dahl novel of the same name. Additional upcoming credits include Thunder Force for Netflix alongside Melissa McCarthy and the second season of Truth Be Told for Apple.
Spencer is represented by WME and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Ahmed is at WME, Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman and Gordon and French. Pearce is at WME and Independent.
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