Emma Roberts (Madame Web) and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix franchise) have been set to star in sci-fi thriller The Astronaut, which is being produced by A Quiet Place and The Purge producer Brad Fuller.
Production is due to start later this year in Ireland on the film in which Roberts will play astronaut Sam Walker who is found miraculously alive in a punctured capsule floating deep off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. General William Harris (Fishburne) arranges for her to be placed under intense NASA surveillance in a high security house for rehabilitation and medical testing. When disturbing occurrences begin happening around the property, Walker fears something extraterrestrial has followed her back to Earth.
Jess Varley (Phobias) will make her solo writing and directorial debut. Also producing are Eric B. Fleischman (Sleight) and Cameron Fuller (The Girl in the Woods).
Highland Film Group is representing international rights, launching sales at this week’s European Film Market. CAA Media Finance and the UTA Independent Film Group are co-repping domestic rights.
“We are delighted to be working with such talented actors as Emma Roberts and Laurence Fishburne. They are phenomenal performers and a huge draw for international audiences and buyers alike,” said Highland Film Group CEO Arianne Fraser.
Roberts is repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment; Fishburne is repped CAA
EXCLUSIVE: In-demand actress Emma Roberts is in final talks to join Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush in action-comedy Verona Spies, which will be directed by comedy veteran Frank Coraci, known for movies including The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy.
Luminosity Entertainment is handling world sales, co-financing and launching the project at the AFM this week.
Roberts, currently in production on Sony’s Spider-Man spinoff Madame Web, will play the title role of Verona, “a loveable hot mess” who, through a case of mistaken identity, is hired as an escort/assassin. Her mission: to seduce a pharmaceutical executive and steal his formula for a revolutionary new drug that can change the world. When she meets her charmingly handsome target, sparks fly. Instead of killing him they decide to team up and flee for their lives as Big Pharma and hired killers come gunning for them. Casting for the pharma exec-come-lover is under way. Rush will play the exec’s boss, the head of the pharmaceutical company.
EXCLUSIVE: Emma Roberts (Madame Web) will exec produce and star in Space Cadet, a new rom-com from Stampede Ventures, which enters production this month. Also now aboard the film from writer-director Liz W. Garcia (The Lifeguard) is Prime Video, which will distribute it internationally.
Space Cadet follows the Florida party girl Rex (Roberts), who turns out to be the only hope for the NASA space program, after a fluke puts her in training with other candidates who may have better resumes, but don’t have her smarts, heart and moxie.
Greg Silverman and Jon Berg will produce on behalf of Stampede Ventures, with Stampede’s Gideon Yu and Chris Bosco exec producing alongside Roberts, Garcia and Michael Tadross. Stampede Ventures will finance the pic, licensed by Prime Video in territories outside of the U.S. and Japan, with CAA’s Sarah Schweitzman co-repping additional territories alongside Stampede’s Bosco.
“Emma’s incredible wit and comedic timing perfectly embodies the role of REX, and Liz’s rendering of this character makes the female take-over of the STEM field so uniquely relatable and fun, and we hope it inspires young women interested in the field,” said Berg, who serves as President of Production at Stampede Ventures.
Roberts is currently in production on Sony/Marvel’s Spider-Man offshoot Madame Web and previously starred opposite Luke Bracey in Netflix’s rom-com Holidate, directed by John Whitesell. The actress has also been seen in such films as The Hunt, Who We Are Now, Nerve, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Palo Alto, We’re the Millers, Empire State, Celeste & Jesse Forever, Scream 4 and It’s Kind of a Funny Story, among many others. Notable television credits include American Horror Story and Scream Queens. Roberts exec produced the popular Netflix series First Kill, and is also producing the upcoming Hulu series Tell Me Lies, based on Carola Lovering’s same-name novel, under her Belletrist TV banner.
Roberts is represented by CAA, Sweeney Entertainment and Felker Toczek Suddleson
EXCLUSIVE: Emma Roberts is the latest addition to the ensemble cast of Sony Pictures’ Madame Web starring Dakota Johnson. Also on board are Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced and Tahar Rahim for director S.J. Clarkson. Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless penned the screenplay, with Kerem Sanga writing a previous draft.
Sony had no comment on Roberts’ casting Monday.
In the comics, Madame Web is depicted as an elderly woman with myasthenia gravis and thus was connected to a life-support system that looked like a spider web. Due to her age and medical condition, Madame Web never actively fought any villains. For that reason, sources have stressed it’s possible the project could turn into something else. Insiders say that due to her psychic sensory powers, she is essentially Sony’s version of Doctor Strange. Roberts’ role in the film in unknown.
For Roberts, this will mark her first Marvel pic after recently wrapping production on the upcoming rom-com Maybe I Do, which also stars Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere. She also continues to be a go-to for new seasons of American Horror Story, most recently appearing in American Horror Story: 1984.
Roberts has also been active on the producing front as she is working on developing projects she isn’t necessarily starring in. One of her biggest producing credits is on the Netflix series First Kill.
Luke Bracey has been asked about his upcoming drama/comedy movie titled ‘Maybe I Do‘ starring Emma Roberts while promoting his latest projects. Luke talked about what it was like working with Emma again, after Holidate, and revealed a little more about their upcoming movie and how the project came to be.
Do you and Holidate co-star Emma Roberts have another movie together?
We just wrapped Maybe I Do. My parents are played by Susan Sarandon and William H. Macy, and hers are played by Diane Keaton and Richard Gere. It’s a story about Emma and me deciding if we want to get married or not.
Did they reunite you and Emma for Maybe I Do because you had worked together successfully before?
Well, Emma and me, because we had so much fun doing Holidate, once we finished, we thought, Oh, we’ve got to do this again. We became really good friends. Going to work was an absolute dream when you can go to work with one of your mates. And so, ever since Holidate, we’ve been looking at scripts, and one of us would find one and then send it to the other. We just wanted to make sure it was the right one.
At the end of 2021, Emma sent me this script and said, “Please read it. I think it’s really good. Would love to do it with you.” I had one read of the script and thought, “This is going to be amazing.” And then to find out that Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Bill Macy are in it, it was just a no-brainer. That was how it came together.
It’s a really great romantic drama-comedy about what’s it like to be with someone for your whole life. And can you progress together, and can you grow together, or does something happen and you fall apart? So that’s a funny movie that we just finished filming about a month ago.
I think for Emma and me, it took what we did in Holidate in a way, but it had some meat on the bones that Holidate didn’t. It had a different weight to it than Holidate did. We still have great moments and a bit of comedy, but there were more stakes at play in this one. Which is something that Emma and I were really interested in doing together. The next one we wanted to do, we wanted to make sure that it was something different and something that was the next step for us.
Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, William H. Macy, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey are set to star in the multi-generational heartfelt romantic comedy Maybe I Dofrom Endeavor Content. Writer and producer Michael Jacobs makes his feature directorial debut in the poignant comedy based on his script.
“I got to watch this incredible cast playing characters I think people will love seeing them play,” Jacobs said. “The difficult choices they have to make about what might be the best rest of their lives is something I am hopeful will resonate strongly with the audience.”
The story follows Michelle (Roberts) and Allen (Bracey), who have reached the point in their relationship where they are considering next steps. They decide to invite their parents to finally meet and to offer some understanding of why marriage works. Except the parents already know one another quite well, which leads to some very distinct opinions about the value of marriage.
“We are thrilled to assemble this multi-generational all-star cast to explore a topic everyone can relate to – falling in and out and back in love again,” said Dan Guando, SVP Film Development and Production at Endeavor Content, and Christopher Slager, SVP\ Film Group. “Michael Jacobs’ poignant script and keen eye bring such joy to this uplifting comedy.”
Endeavor Content are financing and producing the pic alongside Jacobs, Vincent Newman and Scott Mednick. Jennifer Semler, Diane Keaton, Stephanie Heaton-Harris, Jonathan Montepare and Skyler Mednick are executive producing.
Endeavor Content and WME Independent are handling worldwide sales and will be taking it to Cannes market next month.