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James McAvoy In Talks To Replace Joaquin Phoenix In M. Night Shyamalan’s New Film
James McAvoy is in talks to set into the role previously being eyed by Joaquin Phoenix in M. Night Shyamalan’s new feature project, which will go before the cameras in November. Jason Blum, who paired with the director on Universal’s recent horror film The Visit, is producing the project. Marc Bienstock also produces, while Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider are on board as exec producers.
The logline for the new project is being kept under wraps, but Deadline has learned that it will be on the lower end of the budget scale, more in keeping with The Visit (budgeted at $5 million and fully financed by Shyamalan) than, say, the likes of The Last Airbender ($150 million).
M. Night Shyamalan Thriller Starring James McAvoy Adds Four
Anya Taylor Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula and Haley Lu Richardson have joined James McAvoy in M. Night Shyamalan’s next thriller.
Joy and Buckley are signing on for lead roles opposite McAvoy, while Sula and Richardson will round out the cast in supporting roles.
Shyamalan will write, direct and produce along with Jason Blum.
As with any Shyamalan project, plot details are under lock and key, but the film will likely include elements of the supernatural. Given Blum’s involvement, the movie’s budget will be relatively small, which would be more on par with Shyamalan’s “The Visit,” which overperformed at the box office, bringing in $83.1 million worldwide.
Marc Bienstock will also produce, while Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider are on board as exec producers. Production is expected to start this November in Philadelphia. The film is not currently set up at a studio.
Joy’s break-out performance in “The Witch” earned her rave reviews at Sundance and this would mark her first major role following the film’s premiere earlier this year. She is repped by Troika.
Buckley had previously worked with Shyamalan on “The Happening” and past credits include “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Leftovers” and “Five Time Champion.” She is repped by Stewart Talent and Parseghian Planco.
The pic will mark Sula’s first starring role in a feature film having previously starred in the British TV show “Skins.” She is repped by Gersh and Waring and McKenna.
Richardson caught the eye of many execs following her scene-stealing role in the Sundance dramedy “The Bronze.” She is repped by Gersh, 3 Arts and Coast to Coast Talent.