Tessa Thompson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will headline the sci-fi thriller “Ash,” directed by Flying Lotus.
Thompson plays a space station worker who wakes up on a distant planet to find her colleagues viciously killed, and then forced to work together with the man (Gordon-Levitt) sent to rescue her. But as their investigation into what happened sets in motion a terrifying chain of events, the rescuer begins to wonder how innocent she really is.
Executive produced by Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”), “Ash” is based on an original screenplay written by Jonni Remmler. XYZ Films and GFC Films will produce, with Echo Lake also onboard as an executive producer. XYZ Films is financing and handling worldwide sales at next week’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Flying Lotus will also compose an original score, with a production aiming to shoot in New Zealand next year. The multihyphenate will be attending TIFF to support his segment of “V/H/S/99,” which is having its world premiere in the TIFF Midnight section.
Earlier this year, Flying Lotus and his company Brainfeeder Films linked with Paris-based Logical Pictures and XYZ Films for a multi-picture development deal covering a slate of films that the artist will produce and direct.
Flying Lotus, also known as Steven Ellison, is a genre-bending, Grammy Award-winning producer, composer, filmmaker and rapper. He founded Brainfeeder Records in 2008.
Thompson, who is also a producer, recently starred as Valkyrie in Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which was released in theaters in July. She is a BAFTA-nominated actress for her role in Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut “Passing” (2021). In 2020, Thompson starred in Amazon Prime’s “Sylvie’s Love,” which she executive produced. Thompson is currently in post-production on “Creed III,” which is set to release in March 2023. Her production company Viva Maude is also actively in development on several projects including “Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” “Luster” and “Who Fears Death.”
Gordon-Levitt Is best known for roles in “Inception,” “Looper,” “Don Jon” and “50/50.” He most recently starred in the new Showtime anthology series “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber” in which he starred as Uber’s Travis Kalanick. Prior to that, he starred in the Apple TV+ series “Mr. Corman,” which he also created and directed. On the film side, Gordon-Levitt will next appear as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in “Pinocchio,” a live-action-CGI animated musical fantasy drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. He recently wrapped production on the indie comedy “Providence,” starring alongside Lily James and Himesh Patel.
“Ash” will serve as a follow-up collaboration between XYZ and GFC, which worked together on New Zealand Oscar entry “The Dead Lands,” from Toa Fraser, which was presented to the U.S. market by James Cameron, and Toa’s next feature “6 Days,” starring Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish.
Flying Lotus said of “Ash”: “It’s an absolute dream come true to collaborate with some of the most talented actors out there.”
Matthew Metcalfe, who heads GFC and Nate Bolotin, partner at XYZ Films, added: “We couldn’t be happier for Tessa and Joseph to headline this film, they are both incredibly talented and gifted actors. With Steve at the helm, this is going to be a truly visionary film and we couldn’t be more excited to take the project into production in 2023.”
Also on XYZ’s TIFF slate is a feature film about the rise and fall of the first smartphone company Blackberry (formerly called Research in Motion).
Current titles for GFC Films include “A Mistake,” Christine Jeffs’ medical misadventure drama starring Elizabeth Banks, and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” based on Mark Manson’s global best seller.
Echo Lake Entertainment currently produces “The Great” for Hulu.
Thompson is repped by WME, Mosaic and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Gordon-Levitt repped by WME and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.