EXCLUSIVE: Musician and filmmaker Flying Lotus has set the sci-fi horror film Ash as his second feature, on the heels of his body horror anthology Kuso, which made its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
The new film, for which the multi-hyphenate will also compose an original score, watches as a woman wakes up on a distant planet and finds the crew of her space station viciously killed, her investigation into what happened setting in motion a terrifying chain of events.
Jonni Remmler penned the original screenplay. XYZ Films and GFC Films will produce, with Echo Lake on board as exec producer. XYZ is also financing and handling worldwide sales. Casting will get underway later this month, with production slated for this summer.
Ash follows XYZ’s collaboration with GFC on Toa Fraser’s New Zealand Oscar entry The Dead Lands, which was presented to the U.S. market by James Cameron, and Toa’s subsequent action-thriller 6 Days starring Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish, which debuted globally on Netflix in 2017.
“I’ve a strong desire to innovate in the sci-fi space,” Flying Lotus said with regard to his latest film, “and I really want to show the world something they’ve never seen before.”
Matthew Metcalfe, who heads up GFC, and XYZ Partner Nate Bolotin added in a joint statement: “ASH has been a project of passion for both XYZ and GFC for several years now and with each iteration of development it has only become stronger and more entertaining. With Steven at the helm of Jonni’s screenplay, we see a visionary film about to come to life and we couldn’t be more excited to take the film into production in 2022.”
Otherwise known as Steven Ellison, Flying Lotus is a genre-bending, Grammy Award-winning producer, composer, filmmaker and rapper who founded and owns Brainfeeder Records. Since 2006, he has released six studio albums to global critical acclaim, and composed much of the bumper music heard on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. The Los Angeles Film School alum most recently exec produced and scored the Netflix anime series Yasuke, directed by by LeSean Thomas (The Boondocks) and starring LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You, Atlanta). He was mentored by three-time Oscar nominee Terrence Malick, and has also collaborated with notable filmmakers including David Lynch, Alma Har’el, Hiro Murai, Khalil Joseph and Shinichiro Watanabe.
XYZ Films is an independent studio founded in 2008 by Bolotin, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian. Recent productions from the company include Joe Penna’s Netflix sci-fi thriller Stowaway, starring Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette, and Gareth Evans’ action-thriller Havoc, starring Tom Hardy and Forest Whitaker, which is currently in post-production.
GFC Films is an Auckland-based production company led by Metcalfe, which is active across film and TV, and has produced 23 titles to date. Its recent projects include film and TV adaptations of The Dead Lands; the feature adaptation of Thomas Piketty’s #1 New York Times bestselling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, from director Justin Pemberton, which was made in partnership with Canal Plus and Studio Canal; and the Briar March doc Mothers of the Revolution, which was produced in conjunction with Universal Pictures and narrated by two-time Academy Award winner, Glenda Jackson.
Echo Lake Entertainment is the production and management company behind Hulu’s Emmy-nominated comedy series The Great, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, which this month was renewed for a third season. It has produced and/or financed more than 30 films in total, including Brett Haley’s All the Bright Places, Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, Sarah Polley’s Away from Her and Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta. The company’s next feature, Francis and the Godfather, from director Barry Levinson, will go before cameras this year. It also has film and TV projects in development with companies including Amazon, BBC Studios, MRC and AMC.
Flying Lotus is represented by Really Happening, XYZ Films and Clintons; Remmler by Echo Lake Entertainment and Hayden Goldblatt at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.