TriStar, Escape Artists Producing “Crichton-esque” Female Fronted Thriller With Daniel Kunka Scripting

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EXCLUSIVE: TriStar Pictures has picked up Daniel Kunka’s pitch about a female-driven sci-fi thriller, based on the CAGN short story by Christian Cantrell. Originally self-published under the title Anansi Island, the “Michael Crichton-esque” story centers on a mysterious island where a secret government project has unleashed a terrifying new reality. A female entomologist and a group of Special Forces soldiers then must team up to unravel the mystery and survive the island. Kunka is adapting the script.

The studio had no comment.

Escape Artists, the company with box office hits like The Equalizer 2 and The Upside, is behind this project. Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, Tony Shaw, and Becky Sanderman are producing. Nicole Brown and Shary Shirazi are overseeing on behalf of TriStar.

Escape Artists forthcoming release, Troop Zero, starring Viola Davis, McKenna Grace, Jim Gaffigan, and Allison Janney, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and will hit theaters via Amazon Studios.

Repped by ICM, Lit Entertainment Group, and attorney Sean Marks, Kunka recently sold his pitch Trading In Starvation, about the global food and water crisis, to Focus with Smokehouse and Rocklin-Faust producing. His spec, Space Race, is set up at Universal with Dan Trachtenberg attached to direct, and his 2014 Black List spec Yellowstone Falls is currently in pre-production with Misher Films producing and Louis Leterrier directing.

Cantrell, whose short story, The Epoch Index is currently in development at Fox with Matt Reeves’ 6th & Idaho Productions and director Brad Peyton, is repped by Gersh and Tantillo Entertainment.


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