[News] Morena Baccarin Tapped for Survival Thriller BEAST
Photo Credit: Robert Ascroft
Rakuten and The H Collective have tapped Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, To Your Last Death) to star in the survival thriller BEAST for Academy Award® nominated director Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales).  BEAST marks the first film under the joint venture between Rakuten and The H Collective who first partnered in August.

Sherryl Clark (President, Production) and Kenneth Huang (Chairman) are producing for The H Collective alongside Rakuten Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani.  Principal Photography will begin in late March in New Zealand. Based on Aaron W. Sala’s Blacklist script, BEAST is a hard-hitting survival thriller about a woman who survives a plane crash and is stranded on a seemingly deserted island in the South Pacific. She must fight to get back to her children, face her inner demons and a real threat of unimaginable proportions.

“Espen brings an amazing depth of experience as a strong storyteller who loves the ‘against all odds’ survival element. I have rarely met a filmmaker with more passion and such a clear vision, it’s contagious,” said The H Collective’s Sherryl Clark. “We both fell in love with Morena after our initial meeting. She has such range; we look forward to her bringing Jessica’s harrowing journey to life.”

Sandberg said: “For me The Beast is a story about a woman that is forced to break out of her victim mentality by finding her inner strength and courage to fight for herself and reclaim her life. It is a survival story on both a psychological and physical level that I believe will intrigue, thrill and hopefully inspire the audience. The Beast is a refreshing merge of genres with horror, thriller, action and dramatic elements, with a strong female lead and important theme. It couldn’t be more timely!”

Baccarin co-starred alongside Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool and Deadpool 2 for Fox after capturing the attention of audiences and critics alike for her Emmy® nominated performance in “Homeland” as Jessica Brody, starring alongside Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin.  Baccarin is currently in post-production on the STX thriller Greenland for director Ric Roman Waugh and starring Gerard Butler and The Good House opposite Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline for Amblin Partners. She recently joined the cast for season two of “Twilight Zone” for CBS All Access alongside Billy Porter, Jenna Elfman and Gillian Jacobs.

Sandberg co-directed (with Joachim Ronning) the lauded Norwegian drama Kon-Tiki, about explorer Thor Heyerdahl who crossed the Pacific Ocean in a balsawood raft in 1947.  The film was nominated for an Academy Award® and Golden Globe® for Best Foreign Language Film and Sandberg was named as a Director to Watch by Variety at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  Kon-Tiki led to Sandberg co-directing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which grossed $800 million worldwide in Disney’s release.

Baccarin is represented by UTA and Seven Summits Pictures & Management.  Sandberg is represented by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Lindberg Management.

Launched in 2017, with offices in Los Angeles, The H Collective, under CEO Nic Crawley, is a global film finance, production, marketing, and distribution company behind a diversified slate of high-quality films with strong Franchise IP potential.  The slate includes: The Remainders, an action-packed, two-handed revenge thriller written by Derek Kolstad (John Wick franchise); Brightburn starring Elizabeth Banks which Sony released on May 24th; and Christopher Cantwell’s thriller The Parts You Lose starring Aaron Paul.

In August 2019, The H Collective formed a joint venture with Rakuten, Inc., a global leader in internet services headquartered in Tokyo, to comprehensively engage in the in-house production of films, financing, intellectual property management, and the production and sale of video content on a variety of platforms.

Rakuten, Inc. is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1.2 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has more than 17,000 employees and operations in 30 countries and regions.

Sarah Musnicky
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