B.J. Novak’s Comedic Thriller ‘Vengeance,’ Starring Issa Rae and Ashton Kutcher, Sets Summer Release Date

BJ Novak attends the premiere of "Late Night" at the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP)
Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP

Vengeance,” a darkly comedic thriller starring Issa Rae and Ashton Kutcher, is coming to theaters this summer.

Focus Features has scheduled the film to open on July 29. It will hit the big screen on the same day as Dwayne Johnson’s superhero adventure “Black Adam,” from Warner Bros.

“The Office” alum B.J. Novak wrote and directed “Vengeance” in his feature debut. The story centers on Ben Manalowitz, a journalist and podcaster who travels from New York City to West Texas to investigate the death of a girl he was hooking up with. The cast also includes “Succession” star J. Smith-Cameron, Boyd Holbrook (“Logan,” “The Predator”), and Dove Cameron (Disney’s “Descendants”). Aside from Kutcher, who is playing Ben Manalowitz, the studio has not clarified the remaining roles.

Blumhouse Production is making the movie in association with Divide/Conquer. Blumhouse founder Jason Blum is attached to produce with Adam Hendricks and Greg Gilreath. Leigh Kilton-Smith, Christopher H. Warner and Novak will executive produce. Co-producers include Jennifer Scudder Trent, Jon Romano and Nicholas Kraft.

“Vengeance” began shooting in Albuquerque, N.M. in early 2020 when the newly spreading COVID-19 virus forced production to shut down. Cameras were not able to start rolling again until late January 2021.

Novak is best known for portraying Ryan Howard on NBC’s hit sitcom “The Office,” where he also served as a writer, director and executive producer. Since his days on “The Office,” Novak appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” “Saving Mr. Banks” and “The Founder.” He also wrote, directed and executive produced the FX anthology series “The Premise.”