Cannes: Joseph White to Direct Sci-fi Thriller ‘Genus’ for Catalyst (EXCLUSIVE)

Joseph White (above) directed the short 'The Brain Hack,' which was optioned for a feature film remake by Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8

Joseph White, whose short “The Brain Hack” was optioned for a feature film remake by Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8, has been attached as director to sci-fi thriller “Genus” for London-based production and finance outfit Catalyst Global Media.

Based on the novel by Jonathan Trigell, the writer of BAFTA award-winner “Boy A,” “Genus” is an action-packed movie set in a bleak and dangerous future.

It is being adapted for the screen by Mike Carey, the novelist and graphic-novelist behind “Lucifer,” “Hellblazer” and “X-Men: Legacy,” and screenwriter of Warner acquisition “She Who Brings Gifts,” starring Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close. “Genus” will be Carey’s next film.

It is set in the not-so-distant future, when genetic selection and physical perfection are the norm — all the qualities men and women aspire to can be purchased prior to birth, and those financially unable to “self-improve” are ostracized as an underclass in London’s The Kross district. When a series of disturbing murders shakes the Kross, the unorthodox Detective Gunt is assigned to the case.

“Genus” will go into production later this year.

White, whose VFX background includes credits on such films as “Skyfall,” has recently garnered acclaim for “The Brain Hack” – a mind-bending viral 19-minute online sci-fi thriller that he wrote and directed, and which was commissioned, financed, produced and scored by Catalyst. “The Brain Hack” was optioned for a feature film remake by Robinov’s Studio 8 and will be produced by 3 Arts Entertainment’s Erwin Stoff, Will Rowbotham and Richard Abate. White is represented by WME and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Catalyst CEO Charlotte Walls said: “‘Genus’ is a fascinating proposition from novelist Jonathan Trigell who presents us with a piece of science fiction that is relevant and frighteningly possible. Mike Carey was our number one choice for this adaptation and we are thrilled to be announcing the talented and visionary director Joe White at the helm. Tonally and stylistically we see Genus as ‘Gattaca’ meets ‘Looper’ wrapped up in a detective thriller akin to ‘Se7en’ and we know that Joe’s wide-ranging talents can make this a reality.”

Earlier this week Catalyst revealed a partnership with Blonde to Black Pictures, run by Sadie Frost and Emma Comley, and Tiger Aspect Pictures, that will see them finance and produce the feature film “Eaten,” about a celebrity chef who belongs to an exclusive cannibal ring. Caradog James will direct the film from a script written by Rob Green.

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