EXCLUSIVE: Existence, a survival story based on a screenplay by Anthony Jaswinski who penned the hit thriller The Shallows, will be directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist) and produced by Tucker Tooley Entertainment. The harrowing story was inspired by the 1981 ill-fated shipwreck of a research vessel that became marooned after a typhoon on a remote island — the North Sentinel Island –in the Indian Ocean.
Upon exploring the terrain, the surviving crew encounters multiple terrors not only from the forces of nature but also from a sect of people who have existed in a primal state for about 60,000 years. Widely considered to be the last remaining Pre-Neolithic society on Earth, the North Sentinelese tribesmen have successfully saved themselves from extinction by exercising their right to resist all integration with the outside world – avoiding the catastrophic violence and disease that such contact has historically brought to other indigenous people.
Tooley will produce with Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein. Greg Renker and Jason Barhydt are executive producers. Turner’s credits include Up in the Air, 2005’s The Longest Yard and X-Men: First Class. He also wrote the screenplay for Love is Gun, a new take on the Bonnie and Clyde saga starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Jack O’Connell. That film is based on the Jeff Guinn book Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde.
Anderson previously directed Oscar winner Christian Bale in The Machinist, and Oscar winner Halle Berry in The Call and Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike in Beirut. Most recently, he directed Sam Worthington, Lily Rabe and Stephen Tobolowsky in Fracture for Netflix.
For Jaswinski — who scripted the 2016 worldwide box office hit The Shallows which pulled in $119.1 million worldwide on a modest budget — Existence marks his second project for Tooley. He also penned the supernatural thriller Mary starring Oscar winner Gary Oldman which will be released later this year. That story is also set partially on the high seas: It follows a struggling family who buys an old ship at auction with high hopes of starting a charter business, only to discover her horrifying secrets on the isolated open waters. The film also stars Mary Poppins Returns‘ Emily Mortimer and It co-star Owen Teague.
Anderson is repped by Geoff Morely at UTA, LBI Entertainment and Sloss Eckhouse LawCo. Jaswinski is repped by Paradigm, Circle of Confusion and Lichter Grossman.