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Ethan Peck, Diego Boneta and Nate Parker are starring in Eden, a survival thriller from Ombra Films, the shingle of Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra.
The movie hails from Parker, who on top of starring also originated the project and will produce with Ombra.
The story, with shades of Lord of the Flies, is set in motion when a soccer team’s plane crashes on a deserted island. Team spirit evaporates as disagreements both petty and profound cause the group to separate into factions, and soon sharks, abandoned Japanese mines and starvation are the least of the survivors’ worries.
Parker came up with the idea and brought it to Hernany Perla, a friend who at the time worked at Liongate and is now an exec at Ombra. The two fleshed ideas out and with the help of Parker’s agents at WME commissioned the writing of a script by Mark Mavrothalasitis.
While Mavrothalasitis was pounding away on his keyboard, Parker went out and directed a teaser short (see below) to help raise financing. Over a year later, with the cast coming together, Parker is now getting ready for a July shoot in Malaysia.
“I feel that the whole dynamic of the actor is changing,” Parker tells THR about the impetus for Eden. “If you don’t evolve, you will evaporate. I don’t want to be in the position where anyone can pull the plug on my career.”
He made the characters soccer players in an effort to make the movie marketable internationally (“Soccer is religion to the rest of the world,” he says) while hoping the story’s themes examine the human condition.
Eugene Simon (Game of Thrones) and Sung Kang (Fast & Furious 6) are also part of the movie, which is being directed by Shyam Madiraju, a commercials director making his feature debut.
Peck will play the unbalanced ruler of the violent faction, while Boneta is playing a cocky and arrogant player who becomes an obsessive and sadistic barbarian once on the island. Parker is playing a selfless player named Slim who commands the more compassionate group.
Collet-Serra, who directed Parker in the upcoming Liam Neeson action thriller Non-Stop, is producing with partner Juan Sola and Perla. Steve Smith is exec producing.
Peck has two indies in the can: Nothing Left to Fear, which also stars Anne Heche, Clancy Brown and James Tupper for producer Slash, as well as The Wine of Summer, in which he stars opposite Marcia Gay Harden. He is repped by ICM and Milo Talent Management.
Boneta did stints on Pretty Little Liars and 90210 before landing the starring role opposite Tom Cruise in the big-screen version of the hit musical Rock of Ages. The actor, repped by Gersh and Hansen Jacobson, recently wrapped the Brad Furman-produced The Dead Men and the indie Another You, on which he served as an associate producer.
Parker starred in the George Lucas-produced Red Tails, appeared with Richard Gere in Arbitrage and is wrapping up shooting Seven Years, Three Days, an indie being exec produced by Ed Zwick that also stars Jason Ritter.
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The Gilded Age