Angela Zhou has been added to the cast of the Focus Features thriller, Promising Young Woman, joining stars Carey Mulligan and Bo Burnham as well as Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, Max Greenfield, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Sam Richardson, and Molly Shannon. Emerald Fennell is directing the film based his own screenplay. It follows Cassie, who everyone said was a promising young woman until a tragic event abruptly derailed her future. Now she’s a medical school drop-out, living at home with her worried parents and working at a coffee shop with a concerned boss. It seems like she is at a standstill, except for the double life Cassie leads at night. Zhou will play Todd, a smart and watchful cop, who has been recently promoted to detective. Margot Robbie, Josey McNamara, and Tom Ackerley are producing the project under LuckyChap Entertainment banner with Fennell and FilmNation’s Ben Browning. Focus and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film worldwide. Zhou, best known for her co-starring role on the AMC series Hell on Wheels, is repped by The Kohner Agency, Principal Entertainment LA, and Auckland Actors based in New Zealand.
Actor/writer/comedian Ron Funches has joined the supporting cast of Sylvie, starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha. He comes on aboard alongside Wendi McLendon-Covey, Eva Longoria, John Magaro, Aja Naomi King, Lance Reddick, Jemima Kirke, MC Lyte, Alano Miller, Erica Gimpel, Tone Bell, Ryan Michelle Bathe, and Regé-Jean Page in the 1950s/1960s New York City jazz era set film, written and directed by Eugene Ashe. Thompson (who will also serve as executive producer) is Sylvie, who meets aspiring saxophonist Robert (Asomugha) when he takes a job at her father’s record store in Harlem. After a summer romance that comes to an end, the two fatefully reconnect several years later and find that their feelings for each other have never disappeared. Asomugha, Jonathan Baker, Gabrielle Glore, and Matthew Thurm are also producing. Funches starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Undateable and most recently recurred on CBS’ Man with a Plan. He’s repped by CAA, Truhett / Garcia Management, and Attorney Lev Ginsburg.
Young actor Frankie Smith will appear in Screen Gems crime thriller Black and Blue, which is being toplined by Naomie Harris. Deon Taylor is directing the film that centers on a rookie New Orleans cop (Harris) who rounds the corner just as corrupt narc officers are murdering a drug dealer, an event captured by her body cam. When they then fail to execute her and she escapes, the narcs pin the murder on her, and she is hunted both by the narcs who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage and the drug dealers out for revenge. Smith, a New Orleans native, will play ’Tez’ The computer geek. Frank Grillo, Beau Knapp, Mike Colter, Nafessa Williams, and Tyrese Gibson also star. Peter A. Dowling penned the screenplay. Sean Sorensen of Royal Viking Entertainment is producing with Taylor’s Hidden Empire Film Group production shingle. Repped by Open Range Management, Smith’s credits includes Mudbound, the HBO series Treme, and NCIS: New Orleans.