Helmed by Tilman Singer (“Luz”) in his sophomore effort, the film was shot on 35mm and is now in post-production. Neon continues to keep a tight lid on plot details for the movie, which was first announced in 2021 with sparse detail except for the fact that it’s a horror. A release is set for 2023.
“Cuckoo’s” ensemble cast is led by Schafer, and includes Stevens, Henwick, Marton Csókás, Jan Bluthardt and Greta Fernández. John Malkovich and Gemma Chan were previously attached to the pic, but dropped out due to timing issues, Variety has confirmed.
“Cuckoo” reunites Singer with “Luz” lead actor Bluthardt, as well as cinematographer Paul Faltz and production designer Dario Mendez Acosta. Simon Waskow will also return as composer and Henning Hein as sound designer.
Executive produced by Tom Quinn, Jeff Deutchman, Emily Thomas and Ryan Friscia for Neon, “Cuckoo” is produced by Markus Halberschmidt, Josh Rosenbaum, Maria Tsigka and Ken Kao, Thor Bradwell and Ben Rimmer, in a co-operation between Fiction Park (Germany) and Waypoint Entertainment (U.S.). Additional funding comes from Film und Medien Stiftung NRW, HessenFilm and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).
Neon, the U.S. distributor behind “Parasite” and a growing force in production, had another successful Cannes this spring, acquiring Rüben Ostlund’s absurdist comedy drama “Triangle of Sadness,” which went on to win the Palme d’Or. The company was also a backer of the 2021 Palme d’Or winner “Titane,” from Julia Ducournau.
Schafer made her acting debut as Jules in HBO’s Emmy-winning series “Euphoria.” After co-writing and co-executive producing a special episode of the hit series, Schafer directed Girl in Red’s music video for “hornylovesickmess.” The actor recently joined the cast of The Hunger Games prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” She is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
Meanwhile, Stevens starred in the Berlin-premiering “I’m Your Man,” which went on to become Germany’s official Oscar entry for best international feature film. The British actor currently stars in the Starz political thriller “Gaslit,” alongside Sean Penn and Julia Roberts. He was recently announced as the lead of Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong sequel.
Henwick will begin filming Neon’s Kitty Green movie “The Royal Hotel” this summer alongside Julia Garner. She was most recently seen in “Matrix: Resurrections,” as well as in “Blade Runner: Black Lotus.” Henwick also stars in Netflix’s “The Gray Man” and “Knives Out 2.”
Elsewhere, Csókás has worked extensively in film, television and on stage across New Zealand, Australia and the U.S., with roles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and “The Equalizer.” Csókás was last seen in Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel” and stars along Russell Crowe in “Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher.”
Fernandez is currently shooting Carlos Lopez’s Netflix series “Santo.” She is best known as the lead of Belen Funes’ critically-acclaimed feature “La Hija De Un Ladron,” for which she won a best actress Concha de Plata award.