EXCLUSIVE: Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Chevalier) and Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus) have closed deals to star opposite Stranger Things breakout Sadie Sink in Searchlight Pictures’ original rock opera O’Dessa from Patti Cake$ filmmaker Geremy Jasper. It is heading into production in Croatia in May.
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, O’Dessa follows Sink’s farm girl of the same name on an epic quest to recover a cherished family heirloom. Her journey leads her to a strange and dangerous city where she meets her one true love – but in order to save his soul, she must put the power of destiny and song to the ultimate test.
While no details as to Bartlett’s role have been disclosed, sources tell Deadline that Harrison will play O’Dessa’s love interest, Euri Dervish — a punk performer described as an “unholy mix of Iggy Pop, Marlene Dietrich and Prince.”
Written and to be directed by Jasper, O’Dessa will feature original songs written and produced by Jasper and Jason Binnick. Michael Gottwald will produce the film for the Department of Motion Pictures along with Noah Stahl, and Rodrigo Teixeira for RT Features. Exec producers include Jonathan Montepare, Dan Janvey and Lourenço Sant’Anna. SVP Taylor Friedman and Creative Executive Cornelia Burleigh are overseeing the project for Searchlight Pictures, reporting to Heads of Production and Development Katie Goodson-Thomas and DanTram Nguyen.
A BAFTA, Gotham and Spirit Award nominee, Harrison was most recently seen playing blues legend B.B. King in Baz Luhrmann’s Warner Bros smash Elvis, which grossed over $288.6 million worldwide and was nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture. Before that he starred opposite Peter Dinklage and Haley Bennett in Joe Wright’s take on Cyrano and has also been seen in such films as The Trial of the Chicago 7, Waves, Luce, Jinn, Monsters and Men, It Comes at Night and Mudbound, among others. He appeared opposite Forest Whitaker in the first season of Epix/MGM+’s crime drama Godfather of Harlem and later this year will be seen portraying Martin Luther King Jr. in National Geographic’s Genius: MLK/X. While Harrison is set to voice the role of Scar in Barry Jenkins’ The Lion King prequel for Disney, he’ll next be seen on the film side playing Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges in Searchlight’s Chevalier, out April 21.
Australian actor Bartlett shot to international recognition with his turn as resort manager and recovering drug addict Armond in the first season of Mike White’s megahit HBO series The White Lotus, which earned him an Emmy and a Critics’ Choice Award, as well as Spirit and SAG Award nominations and other accolades. While he’d previously been seen in the HBO series Looking and Netflix’s Tales of the City, among numerous other film and TV projects, he’s followed up his breakout role with a notable turn opposite Kumail Nanjianai in Hulu’s prestige miniseries Welcome to Chippendales and a recurring part on Apple TV+’s Physical, as well as a guest starring role opposite Nick Offerman in perhaps the most discussed episode of The Last of Us Season 1.
Harrison is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Del Shaw Moonves; Bartlett is with WME, Anonymous Content and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
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