EXCLUSIVE: Misha Green will reteam with her Underground and Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett for the Lionsgate thriller Sunflower. Green will direct off a script she wrote and produce with Craig J. Flores and his Bread and Circuses Entertainment banner.
In Sunflower, two women struggle to escape from a deranged college professor who holds them hostage on a remote sunflower farm.
Sunflower will be Green and Smollett’s next project, and the studio is eyeing a summer start for production.
Smollett and Green first worked together on the critically acclaimed WGN series Underground before reuniting for their ten-episode HBO limited series Lovecraft Country, which counted 18 Emmy nominations, including nods for Smollett’s performance, Green’s writing, and Outstanding Drama Series, while Smollett was nominated for Emmy, NAACP and SAG Awards for her performance.
“Everyone at our studio was completely drawn in by the way Misha, Jurnee, and the ‘Lovecraft Country’ team worked so confidently to create a compelling genre series – then subverted the genre and reinvented it through a new lens,” said Nathan Kahane, President of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “That’s the opportunity with Sunflower. The screenplay is unique, thrilling, and flat-out scary. It’s going to make a hell of a movie.”
Green added, “Sunflower was the first script I sold when I landed in Hollywood, and now having the opportunity to make it my first feature directorial outing feels like kismet. I couldn’t have hoped for better partners and collaborators than Nathan, the Lionsgate team, Craig, and Jurnee to help me shepherd it to the big screen.”
Meredith Wieck and Aaron Edmonds will oversee the project for Lionsgate. The deals were negotiated for the studio by Dan Freedman.
Green’s upcoming credits include writing and producing the feature film The Mother, which Netflix will release this year. She is represented by CAA, Range Media Partners, and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang.
Smollett’s recent credits include Birds of Prey opposite Margot Robbie, the Joseph Kosinski sci-fi film Spiderhead opposite Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller, and Lou, which she executive produced on and starred in opposite Allison Janney. Lou debuted #1 on Netflix. She will next be seen in The Burial opposite Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones. She is represented by CAA, Entertainment 360, and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang.
Flores most recently produced critical and box office success Crawl for Paramount Pictures, alongside Sam Raimi for director Alexandre Aja, and the team is actively developing the next installment of the survival horror franchise. Flores also was an executive producer on Zack Snyder’s global hit 300 and the sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire.