EXCLUSIVE: John Boyega will executive produce UK fantasy horror A Spriggan from writer-director Keir Burrows (Anti Matter) and producer Josephine Rose (Slaughterhouse Rulez) of new outfit Bandit Country.
The Star Wars actor joins via his Upper Room Productions banner, through which he recently co-produced Pacific Rim: Uprising, alongside Legendary Pictures.
Currently out to cast, creature feature A Spriggan follows a recently widowed mother who returns to her father’s isolated hotel only to find a sinister folklore presence haunting the land. The impressive crew includes two-time Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Neil Corbould and his company Neil Corbould Special Effects, which is handling special effects and creating the creature. Courbould is well known for his work on movies including Rogue One, Gravity and Gladiator. Production designer is Amanda McArthur (How To Build A Girl) and director of photography will be Burrows’ regular collaborator Gerry Vasbenter (Anti Matter).
In UK folklore, Spriggans were depicted as spirits related to the trolls of Scandinavia. They were often characterized as grotesquely ugly, wizened old men with large child-like heads. Although small, they were often considered to be the ghosts of giants, with the ability to swell to far greater size. The character has become the subject of a host of manga series in Japan.
Boyega, who is currently shooting Star Wars IX for J.J. Abrams, said of the project, “I’m really excited to be joining A Spriggan and the team behind it. In my producing projects, I’m looking for film-maker driven, world-building, cinematic pieces, and have found in Josephine Rose another producer who shares that creative vision and commercial ambition. We’re looking forward to working with Keir Burrows to explore the monsters of real-life through a dark, twisted, fairy-tale world of the Spriggan.”
Burrows’ well-reviewed, low-budget 2017 sci-fi debut Anti Matter followed a Ph.D. student who finds herself unable to make new memories after a failed wormhole experiment. This is the second film to come from Rose’s new production company, after she recently left Sony Pictures International, where she was a producer on Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s comedy horror, Slaughterhouse Rulez. She was previously Head of Packaging at UK law firm Wiggin, where she executive produced movies such as Dad’s Army and Brotherhood. Additional projects on her slate include Ursula Le Guin sci-fi adaptation, Nine Lives, with Quark Films, and Apophis from writer-director Simon Hansen, VFX supervisor on movies such as Fonzo and Eye In The Sky. She has collaborated with Burrows on four previous projects, including Anti Matter.
A Spriggan is the second movie revealed for Boyega’s Upper Room Productions banner, which he set up with his UK agent Femi Oguns of Identity Agency Group.