EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a hot one. Universal Pictures, Insecure star and creator Issa Rae and Oscar winner Jordan Peele (Get Out) are teaming on Sinkhole, a thought-provoking genre movie that engages with questions of female perfection and identity.
In a low-seven-figure deal, Universal beat out more than 10 studio bidders and multiple talent and filmmaker packages for screen rights to Leyna Krow’s short story, which is about a young family that moves into its dream home despite the gaping sinkhole in the backyard. The mysterious sinkhole manages to fix broken and destroyed things. However, the story asks, what if that thing is a person?
The project is being developed as a potential star vehicle for the in-demand Rae. The multi-hyphenate, whose Insecure scored eight Emmy nominations yesterday, will produce with Universal and Peele’s Monkeypaw. Producers are Peele and Win Rosenfeld for the latter and Rae, Montrel McKay and Sara Rastogi for Issa Rae Productions.
Universal’s Senior Vice President of Production Sara Scott will oversee the project on behalf of the studio and the project will fall under Monkeypaw’s five-year deal with the major. Peele and Universal hit it out of the park with genre pics Get Out and Us. The studio has also teamed up with Rae in recent years on movies The Photograph and Little.
Writer Krow is from Spokane, WA, and the story is set on the street she lives on. She was initially inspired to write the piece when a group of local writers were asked to write short fairytales on the theme “I Married A Monster.” She wanted to explore the notion of female perfection and was particularly interested in the ways society and cultures can promote the concept of women as imperfect or broken. Her story has the trappings of a grounded, psychological sci-fi/horror, but the subplot is a commentary on the human condition through the lens of female identity.
Krow is executive producing alongside Alex Davis-Lawrence from literary journal Moss, in which the story was originally published. As a development project, there’s no shoot date yet.
Rae is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and John Meigs. Peele and Monkeypaw are represented by CAA and Morris Yorn. Krow is represented by Alexandra Kordas at 42 and Dean Bahat at Ziffren.