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Mahershala Ali Joins Sci-Fi Feature 'Sovereign' From 'A Quiet Place' Writers

The film will be produced by eOne and 21 Laps, producer of 'Stranger Things' and 'Arrival.'
Mahershala Ali   |   Kevin Winter/Getty Images
The film will be produced by eOne and 21 Laps, producer of 'Stranger Things' and 'Arrival.'

Having just picked up his second Oscar, Mahershala Ali has set a new project — a sci-fi film titled Sovereign, which will be financed by Entertainment One, which is also producing along with 21 Laps Entertainment’s Shawn Levy, Dan Levine and Dan Cohen, the producers responsible for Netflix’s Stranger Things and the 2016 feature Arrival.

Three-time BAFTA TV Award-winner Marc Munden will direct from a screenplay by A Quiet Place writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods — the details of which are being kept under wraps. An original draft of the script was written by Greg Weidman and Geoff Tock, with revisions by Jack Thorne. 

“We have long loved this project and have been patiently waiting until we found the right leading actor, which we no doubt have found in the incredibly talented Mahershala Ali,” Nick Meyer, eOne’s president of film, said Wednesday in announcing the project. “The cast is clearly shaping up well and is backed by a creative team with a proven track record and the ability to tell a story that will resonate with audiences around the world.”

"Much like our film Arrival, this project is for us a dream pairing of an inspired screenplay with a truly visionary director. Marc Munden has been an exceptional collaborator in shaping this singular story into one that jumps off the page and with the phenomenally talented Mahershala Ali at the heart of this film, we feel we now have the dream creative partners to tell a story that audiences won't forget,” Levy, Levine and Cohen said in a joint statement.

Ali, repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern, on Sunday received the best supporting actor Oscar for his performance as pianist Don Shirley in the best picture Oscar winner Green Book, and he has also been headlining the current season of HBO’s True Detective

A three-time BAFTA-winning director, Munden is known for his work on the Hulu miniseries National Treasure,  the sci-fi TV series Utopia and the Amazon Prime Video series Electric Dreams. He most recently directed The Secret Garden, which is currently in postproduction, for HeyDay Films and Studio Canal.

Beck and Woods are repped by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content. Weidman and Tock, whose credits include the TV series Zoo and Limitless, are with WME and Grandview. Thorne, who wrote the Olivier- and Tony-winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as the films Wonder and The Secret Garden, is repped by UTA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.

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