EXCLUSIVE: Dreamgirls star Anika Noni Rose is about to be part of a horrific nightmare. The Tony Award-winning actress is set to star in the recently greenlit horror Limbo from Miramax, Barnyard Projects and Snoot Entertainment. Production is scheduled to begin in January.
The film is directed by Chris Peckover, who co-wrote the film with Matthew Jennison. The story follows a young mother whose body becomes possessed by something evil, rendering her a disembodied spirit and a ghost in her own house. As this demonic double takes over her life and threatens to harm her family, she must find a way to protect her loved ones while also finding a way back to her body before it’s too late.
“I love it! It’s so exciting to me!” Rose told Deadline in regard to her first lead role in a supernatural horror. With Limbo, it looks as though Rose is gaining more traction in the horror-thriller department as she said she has been getting lots of genre scripts in her inbox as of late. She can also be seen in Malik Vitthal’s forthcoming thriller Body Cam and will appear in Amazon’s Them: Covenant, the first season of the anthology horror series from executive producers Lena Waithe and writer and Little Marvin.
Rose points out that even though Limbo is all about a possession of a woman, there is more nuance and subtext to the story which features a family dealing with loss. It deals with gentrification happening to the family, familial love, how to express emotion and how family communication breaks down and in turn, breaks down everything around us. But out of everything, Rose connected with the theme of grief that is embedded in the movie.
“As an American culture, we don’t deal with grief. When something hits us that’s huge and insurmountable, we don’t always know how to move through that and take our family with us instead of becoming an island of pain,” she said. “Many of us in the country right now are experiencing extreme grief and loss. There are many of us in the country that are grieving who we thought we were as a country and Americans. We are watching horror every single day on the news and we are wondering how do we deal with that, process it, make it better and connect?”
Rose said that Limbo echoes Robert Zemeckis’ horror What Lies Beneath starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford, saying that we can expect quiet psychologically tense moments as well as traditional instances of “Oh my God!” jump scares.
Peckover, who is known for indie fare like Better Watch Out and Undocumented, is an up and comer and Rose finds it exciting to work with new voices that haven’t been heard or put in a box by Hollywood. “You still have someone who is trying to carve their own path and do things in a fresh way,” she said of working with new directors. “It allows you to have the freedom to play in different ways. You have the opportunity to create a vision and create something new.”
The feature film will be produced by former Lionsgate CMO Tim Palen under his Barnyard Projects banner, and Keith and Jess Calder of Snoot Entertainment. Chris Harding will serve as a Co-Producer for Snoot Entertainment. Miramax is financing.
In addition to Limbo, Body Cam and Them: Covenant, Rose can be seen in the forthcoming Hulu adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere with Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon
Rose is repped by Innovative Artists, David Williams Management, Goodmanagement and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.