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Film New Roundup: Spy Thriller ‘Quandary’ Eyes September Production Start

In today’s film news roundup, a spy thriller is set for a September start, “Permanent Green Light’ gets distribution, and “The Unhealer” wraps shooting.

PRODUCTION START

Producers are planning a September start for writer/director Daniel Lusko’s spy thriller “Quandary” about a CIA operative with PTSD, Variety has learned exclusively.

Lusko joins forces with Doug McKay (“What to Expect When You’re Expecting”), Dennis Rice (“Charming”), Mark Kamine (“Bad Moms”), Tom Sanders, and Tommy Goodwin to produce the film, which will be shot in Hawaii and Los Angeles.

Lusko said the story is inspired by true events and addresses the psychological effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on American intelligence operatives. He also asserted the story has been vetted and endorsed by FBI officials and CIA operatives.

The story centers on a CIA operative who struggles to maintain his sanity after an explosion where he sees his wife and son killed. Although he suffers from a traumatic brain injury, he seeks revenge against the men he holds responsible and his search leads him to an isolated Arab refugee camp — triggering mind-bending lapses between reality, memories, and hallucinations.

ACQUISITION

Altered Innocence has picked up North American rights to Dennis Cooper and Zac Farley’s second feature film “Permanent Green Light,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film, an official selection of Rotterdam, focuses on a young man who wants to blow himself up in public, without any clear reason. He’s neither nihilist, religious, depressive, or suicidal.

The film will have its North American premiere as part of a special two night event at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in early September. A theatrical release is planned for 2019.

The film stars Theo Cholbi, O.B. De Alessi, and Sylvain Decloitre. The deal was negotiated between Frank Jaffe from Altered Innocence and Ricardo Monastier from MPM Premium.

SHOOTING WRAPS

Principal photography has wrapped on the independent feature film “The Unhealer,” directed by Martin Guigui.

The cast includes Natasha Henstridge, Lance Henriksen, Adam Beach, Branscombe Richmond, and Chris Browning. The actors portraying high school students are Elijah Nelson, Kayla Carlson, David Gridley, Angeline Appel, and Gavin Casalegno.

The story of “The Unhealer” begins when a Native American burial site is desecrated and robbed, releasing an ancient supernatural shaman medicine. A sickly and troubled teenager becomes instantly healthy when this otherworldly power is used to heal him, but also gives him superhuman abilities. When his high school tormentors do him wrong, he uses his newfound superpowers unleash the unnerving and bloody horrors of revenge.

The screenplay was written by Kevin E. Moore and J. Shawn Harris, combining the genres of drama and supernatural horror. The film was shot on locations throughout Arizona, including Apache Junction, Queen Creek, and Scottsdale.

Cristi Harris, a producer and co-founder of Shared Card Films, said, ”It was a big team effort that brought this film to Arizona and we view this project as laying the groundwork for re-energizing the state’s film business.”

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