×

M. Night Shyamalan Thriller Starring James McAvoy Adds Four (EXCLUSIVE)

Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula and Haley Lu Richardson have joined James McAvoy in M. Night Shyamalan’s next thriller.

Joy and Buckley are signing on for lead roles opposite McAvoy, while Sula and Richardson will round out the cast in supporting roles.

Shyamalan will write, direct and produce along with Jason Blum.

As with any Shyamalan project, plot details are under lock and key, but the film will likely include elements of the supernatural. Given Blum’s involvement, the movie’s budget will be relatively small, which would be more on par with Shyamalan’s “The Visit,” which overperformed at the box office, bringing in $83.1 million worldwide.

Marc Bienstock will also produce, while Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider are on board as exec producers. Production is expected to start this November in Philadelphia. The film is not currently set up at a studio.

Taylor-Joy’s break-out performance in “The Witch” earned her rave reviews at Sundance and this would mark her first major role following the film’s premiere earlier this year. She also is set to star opposite Shea Whigham in “Hunstville” and will co-star with Kate Mara in “Morgan.” She is repped by Troika.

Buckley had previously worked with Shyamalan on “The Happening” and past credits include “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Leftovers” and “Five Time Champion.” She is repped by Stewart Talent and Parseghian Planco.

Popular on Variety

The pic will mark Sula’s first starring role in a feature film having previously starred in the British TV show “Skins.” She is repped by Gersh and Waring and McKenna.

Richardson caught the eye of many execs following her scene-stealing role in the Sundance dramedy “The Bronze.” She is repped by Gersh, 3 Arts and Coast to Coast Talent.

More Film

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Reports Mixed Fourth-Quarter Results

    AMC Entertainment has reported mixed fourth-quarter results, which saw revenues rise 2.4% to $1.45 billion, despite a 4.4% drop in U.S. attendance to 62.3 million. The exhibitor, owned by Dalian Wanda Group, announced a fourth-quarter loss of $13.5 million, compared to a year-earlier profit of $170.6 million, due to $84.3 million of expense related to [...]

  • 'Straight Up' Review: James Sweeney's Gay

    'Straight Up': Film Review

    There’s a tradition in movies, as vital as a hypnotic action scene or a swooning love scene, of dialogue so witty and nimble and rapid-fire that it comes at you like something out of a stylized dream. I first encountered that brand of high-velocity verbal jousting in “A Hard Day’s Night,” and later on in [...]

  • Cahiers du Cinema

    French Film Magazine Cahiers du Cinema's Staff Quits Over New Ownership

    The future of iconic French film publication Cahiers du Cinéma is in question after the outlet’s entire staff quit in protest over the brand’s new ownership. The 15-member editorial staff has spoken out against a perceived conflict of interest posed by the Cahier’s owners — a group of bankers, tech entrepreneurs and film producers that [...]

  • John Singleton Victoria Mahoney Spike Lee

    In Honor of Black History Month, a Look at Black Directors Who Made History

    In 2019, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reported that 2018 was a historic year for black filmmakers, noting a “record high when it came to hiring black directors.” The report reflected a significant change, showing the push for diversity both behind and in front of the camera. Though the numbers are increasing, the report also [...]

  • Benh Zeitlin Wendy Movie BTS

    Benh Zeitlin Goes Old-School With Stunts and Puppets for His Peter Pan Film 'Wendy'

    It has taken eight years for Benh Zeitlin to deliver the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2012 feature debut “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” But you could say the idea for “Wendy,” which reimagines the classic “Peter Pan” from the viewpoint of his female friend (played by first-time actor Devin France), has been percolating far longer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content