In today’s film news roundup, Jessica Barden and Neve Campbell get new roles, and “The Nightingale” and “Khalid: Free Spirit” get release dates.


British actress Jessica Barden will star in the drama “Pink Skies Ahead” with best-selling author Kelly Oxford making her feature film directorial debut for Stampede.

“Pink Skies Ahead” marks the first feature film produced and financed by Greg Silverman’s Stampede, formed in 2017. Silverman is the former Warner Bros. Pictures President who’s now CEO and co-chairman at Stampede. Gideon Yu, former CFO of Facebook and YouTube and co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers, is its co-chairman and lead investor.

“Pink Skies Ahead” tells the story of a wild young woman whose life unravels after dropping out of college, moving in with her parents, and being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. It’s based on the essay “No Real Danger” from Oxford’s second book, “When You Find Out The World Is Against You.”

Barden’s credits include the British series “The End of the F***ing World,” “The Lobster” and the upcoming “Jungleland,” opposite Jack O’Connell and Charlie Hunnam. BAFTA named her as one of its “Breakthrough Brits” last year.

Silverman and Lisa Zambri are producing alongside with Divide/Conquer’s Greg Gilreath and Adam Hendricks as producers and Zac Locke as executive producer. Yu is also an exec producer. “Pink Skies Ahead” will begin shooting in June in Los Angeles.

Oxford has previously developed shows and films with Fox, NBC, Hulu, TV Land, and Warner Bros.

Oxford said, “This story is so important to me. The overwhelming response to my essay made me want to bring it to life. Jessica Barden is a force to be reckoned with, and I’m thrilled to have the support of Stampede behind me and this project.”

Stampede has been developing survival drama “When We Were Lost” and a movie version of “Dance Dance Revolution.” Divide/Conquer’s credits include Harry Dean Stanton’s “Lucky,” Netflix’s “Cam,” IFC Midnight’s “The Wind” and “Adopt a Highway,” starring Ethan Hawke, which recently premiered at SXSW.


Neve Campbell, (“House of Cards”), Tom Cullen (“Downton Abbey”) and Keir Gilchrist have joined the cast of writer/director Joey Klein’s “Castle in the Ground.”

The upcoming crime-drama will star Alex Wolff and Imogen Poots. William Woods of Woods Entertainment and Michael Solomon of Band With Pictures will produce.

The story is centered on a teenager befriending his charismatic but troubled next-door neighbor, who embroils him in a world of addiction and violence just as the opioid epidemic takes hold of their small town.


IFC Films has set an Aug. 2 release date for historical drama “The Nightingale,” written and directed by Jennifer Kent and starring Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin and Baykali Ganambarr.

Kent is also a producer with Kristina Ceyton, Bruna Papandrea and Steve Hutensky. The film had its World Premiere at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival’s Venezia 75 competition where it won the Special Jury Prize as well as the Marcello Mastroianni award for Best New Young Performer for Ganambarr.

The film is set during the colonization of Australia in 1825 and follows Franciosi as a 21-year-old Irish convict who has served her seven-year sentence and is desperate to be free of her abusive master, played by Claflin, who refuses to release her from his charge.


Event-cinema specialist Trafalgar Releasing has set an April 3 showing of “Khalid: Free Spirit” at 700 locations.

The two-hour event will include a short film followed by listening to the debut of Khalid’s new album. Trafalgar said the event represents the first time a new record will be shared in cinemas prior to its release, which will take place on April 5 via Right Hand Music Group / RCA Records.

“Free Spirit” is a short film conceived and created by the American singer Khalid and Emil Nava. It’s a creative parallel to Khalid’s new album. The album listening will include commentary from Khalid discussing the importance of each song to the album. Also featured in the film are Dizzy Fae, Judah Lang, Estefania Preciado, Jahking Guillory and Edi Gathegi.