Oct 31, 2023

Daisy Ridley To Star In Survival Thriller From Zak Hilditch, The Penguin Empire and Campfire Studios; Neon & UTA To Shop At AFM

Daisy Ridley has found her next project – a survival thriller from Zak Hilditch, director of Stephen King adaptation 1922.

Ridley, who plays Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy and is returning to franchise in the next film, will star in We Bury the Dead.

The film is a story about grief, loss and the undead. Ridley plays Ava, a desperate woman whose husband is missing in the aftermath of a catastrophic military experiment. Hoping to find him alive, Ava joins a “body retrieval unit,” but her search takes a chilling turn when the corpses she’s burying start showing signs of life.

Filming will begin in February 2024 in western Australia. It is fully financed by Screen Australia, Screenwest, Lotterywest, the WA Regional Screen Fund and Gramercy Park Media. As such, the production complies with the terms of the MEAA / SAG-AFTRA agreement as part of Global Rule One. 

We Bury The Dead is written and directed by Hilditch and produced by The Penguin Empire’s Kelvin Munro and Grant Sputore, who produced I Am Mother, and Ross Dinerstein of Campfire Studios, who produces Netflix’s upcoming Players.

The film will be co-produced by Gramercy Park Media with the company’s Joshua Harris and Mark Fasano serving as producers, and Nathan Klingher and Ford Corbett executive producing.

Neon and UTA Independent Film Group are launching international and domestic sales at AFM. Umbrella Entertainment will distribute the film theatrically in Australia.

Next up for Ridley, she stars in The Marsh King’s Daughter, starring opposite Ben Mendelsohn for director Neil Burger; Young Woman and the Sea from director Joachim Rønning; and Sometimes I Think About Dying, in which Ridley both starred and produced. 

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Zak and Campfire on this project,” said Sputore. “Zak is uniquely gifted when it comes to making movies that are just as moving as they are terrifying. Bringing one of his projects to our home state of Western Australia is especially exciting.”

“Zak is an immensely talented storyteller, and we’re ecstatic to reteam for our third feature together,” added Dinerstein. “With the brilliant Daisy Ridley onboard and Zak’s spectacularly unnerving and poignant script, we can’t wait to dig into production and bring this film to audiences.”

Hilditch said, “Having Daisy play the role of Ava is an absolute dream come true. She embodies the perfect mix of vulnerability, grit and determination that Ava exudes throughout the film.”

Ridley is repped by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Hilditch is repped by Sugar 23 and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. The Penguin Empire is repped by Navigation Media Group. Campfire Studios is repped by UTA.

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