February 18, 2014 3:57pm PT by Borys Kit
'Walking Dead's' Norman Reedus to Star In, Robert Kirkman to Produce Sci Fi Thriller 'Air' (Exclusive)
Robert Kirkman has conquered comics and has taken television by storm with The Walking Dead. Now he is setting his sights on movies.
Kirkman is producing Air, a sci fi thriller to which Norman Reedus, one of the breakout actors on Walking Dead, and Djimon Hounsou have signed on to topline, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions is in final negotiations to acquire the project.
Christian Cantamessa, the video game hot shot who co-wrote and was lead designer for games such as Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, wrote the script with Chris Pasetto and will make his feature directorial debut with the low-budget pic.
Kirkman will produce with David Alpert, the Circle of Confusion partner that also exec produces Walking Dead. Also producing is Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, whose credits include exec producing the Insidious movies, and Chris Ferguson.
The story is set in an underground cryogenic facility after a nuclear fallout renders the atmosphere unbreathable. Air centers on its two custodial workers (Reedus, Hounsou), who take care of the cryogenically sleeping personnel that are to re-establish society, but they struggle to preserve their own sanity and lives while maintaining the extremely fragile environment of the last livable place on earth.
Kirkman will be producing via his Skybound Entertainment banner, which has grown into a multi-platform entertainment shingle since starting with the Walking Dead show in 2010. The company produces comics, is developing several TV shows such as Clone, an original set up at NBC, and Outcast, Kirkman’s comic set up Cinemax, and also handles merchandising lines.
Reedus is not only starring but exec producing Air, along with Bailey Conway and Noah Rosen.
The project was previously known as Wake Cycle and set up at Boss Media in 201, although the rights lapsed and it went into hibernation mode Circle of Confusion and Kirkman got involved.
Air marks the biggest move yet for Reedus since Walking Dead made him a fan favorite and since his joining CAA late last year. Reedus is also repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Karl Austen at Jackoway Tyerman.
Hounsou, the twice Oscar-nominated actor who will be seen in the upcoming tentpoles Guardians of the Galaxy and Fast & Furious 7, is repped by CAA, the Safran Co. and Sloane Offer.
Cantamessa, who wrote and directed the upcoming Warner Bros. Interactive game Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, is repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion and Weintraub Tobin. Pasetto is repped by CAA.