EXCLUSIVE: Sabrina Carpenter, RJ Cyler, Donald Elise Watkins, and Sebastian Chacon have been tapped to star in Emergency, a comedy thriller that hails from Amazon Studios and Temple Hill. Filming is currently underway with Carey Williams directing the film from the screenplay by KD Dávila, which landed on the 2020 Blacklist.
The pic is based on a short film of the same title. The short picked up the Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award at 2018’s SXSW Film Festival.
The plot centers on a group of BIPOC college students, ready for a night of partying, as they weigh the pros and cons of calling the authorities when faced with an unusual emergency.
Cyler will play Sean, a college senior ready to embark on a night of partying with his best friend Kunle (Watkins) and roommate Carlos (Chacon). As they return to their apartment to pre-game, they discover a semi-conscious white girl they don’t know on the floor. Kunle wants to call the cops but Sean vehemently opposes the idea concerned how it will look when the cops show up.
Together, Carlos, Sean and Kunle load the girl into Sean’s van, with the intention of taking her somewhere safe rather than calling the police. Meanwhile, Maddy (Carpenter) has realized that her sister Emma left the party they were at and begins to search for her in a drunk panic using Emma’s phone’s location. What ensues is a chaotic, hilarious, and tension-filled chase all over town as our trio grapples with their differences while attempting to bring Emma to safety.
Maddie Nichols (A Murder to Remember), Madison Thompson (Ozark), Diego Abraham, and Melanie Jeffcoat round out the cast.
Williams and Dávila will serve as executive producers.
“When we made the short film, we didn’t anticipate quite how much it would resonate with people,” said Dávila. “It walked a fine tonal tightrope between comedy and thriller, and touched on the culture of fear in BIPOC communities regarding the police. I’m so glad we have the opportunity to tell a bigger version of the story, and extremely fortunate to have found a team that embraced our vision.”
Said Williams, “It’s an honor to collaborate with Temple Hill, Amazon Studios and the entire creative team of Emergency on such a deeply moving story. I’m thrilled to bring a cinematic exploration of the struggle of young people of color that broadens the type of narrative in this space that audiences have grown accustomed to seeing.”
Carpenter’s recent credits include starring in Ani Simon-Kennedy’s Tribeca drama The Short History of the Long Road, Netflix’s Work It, and Clouds, which was released on Disney+ in October. She is attached to star and produce a big screen adaptation of YA novel The Distance From Me to You, with her former Girl Meets World co-star Danielle Fishel. In addition, Carpenter recently launched her production label, At Last Productions, with the first project being Alice, a musical reimagining of Alice In Wonderland that Carpenter will star and produce with Netflix. Carpenter is repped by Paradigm, Foundation Media Partners, and Goodman Genow.
Cyler was most recently seen in Williams’ R#J, a modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet that premiered at the Sundance, as well as the CW’s Black Lightning, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser on Netflix, and Sony’s White Boy Rick. He next appears opposite Idris Elba and Regina King in the Netflix western drama The Harder They Fall. Cyler is repped by The Park Agency, Landis-Simon Productions & Talent Management, and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.
Watkins, whose credits include the Roots remake, Free State of Jones, and the upcoming Amazon series The Underground Railroad, is repped TalentWorks, Robyn Bluestone Management, and Open Range Management.
Chacon, repped by Robert Stein Management and ICM Partners, has appeared in Pose, Mr. Robot, and The Get Down and was recently added cast of Amazon’s forthcoming original series, Daisy Jones & The Six.
Williams is repped by UTA, Fineman Entertainment, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller. Dávila is repped by Management 360 and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark.
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