“Doctor Who” star Matt Smith and Morfydd Clark are set to star in supernatural horror film “Starve Acre.”
From BAFTA-nominated “Apostasy” writer and director Daniel Kokotajlo, “Starve Acre” explores “inherited trauma and loss within a world ruled by supernatural folklore.”
The film is based on Andrew Michael Hurley’s novel of the same name.
BAFTA and Emmy Award nominee Smith (“House of the Dragon”) and BAFTA Cymru winner Morfydd Clark (“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”) will play a disconnected couple worried about their son in the “brooding and stylistic modern horror.”
Set in their family estate, Starve Acre, in rural 1970s England, Richard (played by Smith) and Juliette (Clark) find their idyllic family life disrupted when their son Ewan starts acting strangely. The formerly happy couple grow farther apart when Richard buries himself in local folklore -— including the myth that an ancient oak tree set on their estate possesses phenomenal powers — while Juliette seeks comfort in their local community.
Just when it seems the couple may reconnect, “dark and sinister forces” find their way into the family home and their attention is diverted by an unexpected discovery.
“Starve Acre” is currently in pre-production. It will start shooting later this spring in the U.K. with sales commencing at EFM. Following a successful collaboration with Kokotajlo on “Apostasy,” the writer-director’s feature debut, Cornerstone will again handle worldwide sales.
Tessa Ross (“12 Years a Slave”), Juliette Howell (“Brexit: The Uncivil War”) and Emma Duffy (“Rocks”) produce the House Productions film, which was was developed with BBC Film and is funded by Access Entertainment together with BBC Film and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).
“Daniel is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today and we’re thrilled to be bringing his adaptation of Andrew Michael Hurley’s extraordinary novel to the screen,” said Ross. “‘Starve Acre’ is already a genre defining modern classic – Daniel’s singular vision and this exceptional cast bring great depth and strength to this evocative story.”
Cornerstone’s Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder commented: “Daniel’s haunting cinematic vision for ‘Starve Acre’ is breathtaking and we’re excited to be able to continue our collaboration with him.”
Access Entertainment’s Danny Cohen added: “Access Entertainment is delighted to be co-financing ‘Starve Acre’ alongside the BBC and the BFI. It’s a brilliant script from the wonderfully talented young writer/director Daniel Kokotajlo and continues our dynamic feature film partnership with Tessa Ross and House Productions.”
BBC Film’s Rose Garnett said: “We’re so pleased to be supporting Daniel on his bold second feature ‘Starve Acre,’ continuing the relationship with BBC Film that began with his stunning debut Apostasy. Daniel is a remarkable voice in British filmmaking.”
Smith is repp’d by B-Side, Maison 2, UTA and lawyer Darren Trattner, Clark by Curtis Brown, UTA, Mosaic and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Kokotajlo by 42MP.
House Productions is owned by BBC Studios, which took full ownership of the company in December.