EXCLUSIVE: The Way Back and The Morning Show actress Janina Gavankar is writing and starring in a female-driven monster movie based on the ancient Hindu myth of the Rakshasa. 108 Media will finance and produce the pic.
Gavankar co-wrote the feature with her creative partner Russo Schelling, and the movie will be shot in India. Abhi Rastogi, Matthew Francis Wilson, and Justin Deimen are also aboard as EPs.
The myth of Rakshasa is a bloodthirsty demon that makes mankind its prey, after being banished from the realm of the gods and forced to live among men. The project follows Gavankar and Schelling’s co-directed short film Stucco, which won the Special Jury Recognition for Creature Design prize at SXSW 2020 and already has been viewed over 14M times online since its release in March. Stucco also opened the Oscar-qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival.
In Invasion, starring Riz Ahmed and Octavia Spencer, two young brothers go on the run with their father, a decorated Marine, who is on a rescue mission to save his boys from an unhuman threat. As their journey takes them in increasingly dangerous and unexpected directions, the boys will need to confront hard truths and leave their childhoods behind. Gavankar will play Piya, the ex-wife of Ahmed’s character.
On TV, Gavankar has starred in The L Word, Sleepy Hollow, True Blood, The Mysteries of Laura and most recently as Alison Namazi on AppleTV+’s eight-time Emmy nominated The Morning Show, and Netflix’s Space Force.
On the feature side, Gavankar’s credits include the Sundance premiere Blindspotting, Warner Bros.’ The Way Back opposite Ben Affleck, and Think Like a Man Too.
She is repped by APA, Thruline Entertainment and Felker Toczek.