Amazon Studios has acquired the rights to develop a script package for an action comedy called “Shelly” that will star Awkwafina and Karen Gillan, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
Awkwafina and Gillan, who both starred in “Jumanji: The Next Level,” will star in the film from director Jude Weng based on the script by Michael Doneger and Liz Storm.
The story involves Awkwafina as an assassin whose next target is her high school bully played by Gillan. Gillan’s prank at their high school prom was responsible for turning Awkwafina into a hardened killer, but she finds it difficult to complete her job when the two become friends, and she’s now forced to protect Gillan from other would-be assassins.
Ian Bryce on behalf of his Ian Bryce Productions will produce “Shelly.” Will McCance will executive produce, and Katie Malott will co-produce.
Awkwafina will be seen in “Breaking News in Yuba County” and is working on Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” She also lent her voice to the new “Spongebob” film and the Disney animated movie “Raya and the Last Dragon” and will be a voice in Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” remake.
Gillan was seen in this year’s “Call of the Wild” and will next star in the action film “Gunpowder Milkshake.”
UTA packaged the project for “Shelly.” Awkwafina is represented by UTA and Artists First. Gillan is represented by UTA and Troika. Doneger is represented by UTA, Storm by Verve and lawyer Amy Nickin. Weng is represented by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Avengers and Jumanji star Karen Gillan has joined Harrison Ford and Dan Stevens in Call of the Wild, the 20th Century Fox adaptation of Jack London’s famous 1903 adventure novel set during the Klondike Gold Rush. Production on the CGI/live-action hybrid is now underway in Los Angeles on the pic being directed by Chris Sanders, ahead of a planned December 25, 2019 release date.
Gillan will play the role of Mercedes in the pic, which was adapted by Logan scribe Michael Green. The plot centers on the trek of prospector John Thornton (Ford) across the Canadian Yukon during the gold rush. Stevens’ role is under wraps. Omar Sy and Colin Woodell are also in the cast.
Erwin Stoff is producing, with Diana Pokorny and Ryan Stafford exec producing.
Gillan is in the final stages of shooting the next Avengers installment; she plays the Guardians of the Galaxy character Nebula in the Marvel franchise. She also is coming off another franchise smash, Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. That sequel goes into production early next year, and she will fit Call of the Wild in between.
The Scotland-born Gillan also wrote, produced, directed and stars in The Party’s Just Beginning, which The Orchard is releasing December 7 after it bowed at the Glasgow Film Festival and then Tribeca in the spring. It was shot in Gillan’s Scottish Highlands hometown of Inverness, taking her six years to write and five to finance.
Gillan, a Doctor Who alum, is repped by UTA and Troika in the UK, and lawyered by Darren Trattner.
Check out the first clip for Karen’s movie “The Party’s Just Beginning” and an article about the film below! Karen also wrote and directed this film. I absolutely can’t wait to see it!
The film, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ actress as she struggles to connect with others and dwells on thoughts of death.
Karen Gillan may be known for her acting roles in blockbuster films like the Guardians of the Galaxy series and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, but the actress is taking on a new role with her latest film, premiering at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival: director.
Gillan wrote and directed The Party’s Just Beginning, which is part of the international narrative competition at the New York festival, which starts Wednesday. The Party’s Just Beginning will have its international premiere at Tribeca on Sunday.
In the surreal coming-of-age tale, set in her native Scottish Highlands, Gillan stars as Liusaidh, a witty, sarcastic girl who’s haunted by the suicide of her best friend. The traumatic incident causes her to spiral into a mid-twenties crisis, and she struggles to connect with others as she dwells on thoughts of mortality.
The film also stars Lee Pace, Matthew Beard, Paul Higgins, Siobhan Redmond, Jamie Quinn and Rachel Jackson.
In the above clip, debuting exclusively on THR.com, viewers see Liusaidh caught in a cycle of getting drunk, eating fries and reliving the traumatic sight of her friend’s suicide. She stumbles through town until she sees a man standing on a bridge.
The image, Gillan tells The Hollywood Reporter, “haunts her, and she can’t escape it until she finally finds the strength to confront it.”
Gillan explains that her real life and hometown inspired the story for her feature directorial debut.
“I wanted the first story I decided to tell to be personal. Although I have not experienced the same traumatic events you will see our lead character go through, I embedded all this fiction in aspects of my real life,” Gillan says. “We shot the movie where I am from —Inverness, in the Highlands of Scotland. And I’ve taken inspiration from those I grew up around. It all goes back to when I read a statistic that the suicide rates in the Highlands of Scotland — among young men — are significantly higher than in the rest of Scotland. I wanted to know why. It’s such an idyllic place to live. This film is my exploration of the reality behind this statistic.”
While Gillan says acting in, directing and writing The Party’s Just Beginning was “the ultimate challenge in multitasking,” which she found “incredibly rewarding,” she’d like to direct a film in which she’s not also acting.
“Next time, I’d love to direct a film that I am not in so I can sit behind the monitor with no makeup on and watch incredibly talented people make my writing look way better,” she says.
The first official trailer for Karen’s upcoming film “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” has been released!
Scottish actress and director Karen Gillan will receive the 2017 Maui Film Festival Rising Star Award. The 18th annual festival will be held from June 21-25 at the Wailea Resort in Maui, Hawaii.
Gillan has worked in both comedy and drama in films and on television. She is set to star opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” set to release Dec. 20.
Gillan recently reprised her role of Nebula in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” and co-starred opposite Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in the motion picture “The Circle.” She also completed production on her feature film directorial debut, “The Party’s Just Beginning,” which she wrote and stars in. Her other credits include “The Big Short” and “Doctor Who.
“Perfection and synchronicity in the Universe work in mysterious ways. Among them is the opportunity to honor Karen Gillan with the Maui Film Festival’s 2017 Rising Star Award — under the stars and lit by the moon at the Celestial Cinema — for the way her work has enriched us all through her eclectic and powerful performances to date and, I’m sure, in many triumphant decades yet to come,” said Barry Rivers, founder and director of the festival.
The Maui Film Festival Rising Star Award honors a young film artist. Previous honorees include Brie Larson, Scott Eastwood, and Garrett Hedlund.
The award will be presented June 24 at the Celestial Cinema.