The Crown star Matt Smith and Saint Maud’s Morfydd Clark are to lead supernatural horror film Starve Acre from BAFTA-nominated Apostasy creator Daniel Kokotajlo. Cornerstone is handling world sales and will launch at next month’s European Film Market.
The brooding horror film, which is adapted from an Andrew Michael Hurley novel and will enter production in the Spring, follows Richard and Juliette, whose seemingly idyllic rural English family life is thrown into turmoil when their son Ewan starts acting out of character. At Starve Acre, their remote family home, archaeologist Richard buries himself in exploring a folkloric myth that the ancient oak tree on their land is imbued with phenomenal powers, while Juliette turns to the local community to find some kind of peace.
Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell’s prolific House Productions is producing the film, which is being developed with BBC Film and funded by BBC Film, Access Entertainment and the BFI.
BAFTA and Emmy-nominated The Crown star Smith was most recently seen on screen in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, while Clark broke out in 2019 horror Saint Maud, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star award.
Kokotajlo was also nominated for a BAFTA for 2017’s Apostasy, about two sisters brought up as Jehovah’s Witnesses in northern England.
Ross called him “one of the most exciting filmmakers working today.”
“Starve Acre is already a genre defining modern classic and Daniel’s singular vision and this exceptional cast will bring great depth and strength to this evocative story,” she added.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.