- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Ella Balinska, the rising star who appeared in the recent Charlie’s Angels reboot and will soon be seen in Netflix’s upcoming Resident Evil series, is set to lead upcoming sci-fi thriller The Occupant.
The film — which will be introduced to buyers in Toronto, with Altitude Film Sales overseeing worldwide sales rights — will be directed by Hugo Keijzer, who co-wrote the script alongside Philip M. Howe and Roelof-Jan Minneboo.
Billed as a “high-concept” sci-fi thriller with a powerful psychological story at its core, The Occupant will see Balinska play a woman called Abby in a narrative that deals with themes of perception, manipulation, loss of loved ones and survival. On a desperate quest for her dying sister’s survival, Abby finds herself stranded and alone in the icy Russian wilderness, where a mysterious helper may or not be her salvation.
The project is an expansion of Keijzer’s acclaimed 2019 short film of the same name, which garnered worldwide festival exposure, including Sitges, Fantasia and Bifan.
“The Occupant is both a visceral survival story and a gripping journey into the unknown, which will be an immense challenge both physically and mentally for our lead actress, said Keijzer. “I’m thrilled to be working with Ella on this. She embraces the unique challenges that come with this project and she’s not afraid to reveal her most vulnerable side. I believe she has all the makings of a superstar.”
The feature will be produced by Raymond van der Kaaij for Revolver Amsterdam (Love and Friendship) alongside Dutch producer Maurice Schutte and Elwin Looije, with Altitude exec producing.
“The Occupant is exactly the kind of smart, involving and thrilling material we are looking for and we are excited to partner with Hugo and the team to help bring their bold and dynamic vision to audiences worldwide,” said Altitude’s Mike Runagall.
The feature received a grant from Epic Games to potentially utilize Unreal Engine, the groundbreaking virtual production technology that was recently used in The Mandalorian. The project also won the the Bucheon Award at NAFF, the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival’s genre film project market.
The film is currently being financed and already received funding by the Dutch Film Fund. Production is planned for early 2022 with shooting planned in Georgia and Ireland.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day