Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tessa Thompson direct sci-fi thriller ‘Ash’

Tessa Thompson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star in sci-fi thriller “Ash,” directed by Flying Lotus.

Thompson plays a space station employee who wakes up on a distant planet to find his colleagues brutally killed, then forced to work with the man (Gordon-Levitt) sent to save her. But as their investigation into what happened sets off a terrifying chain of events, the rescuer begins to wonder just how innocent she really is.

Executive produced by Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”), “Ash” is based on an original screenplay written by Jonni Remmler. XYZ Films and GFC Films will produce, with Echo Lake also on board as executive producer. XYZ Films is financing and managing worldwide sales at the Toronto International Film Festival next week.

Flying Lotus will also compose original music, with production aiming to tour New Zealand next year. Hyphen will be attending TIFF to support his segment of “V/H/S/99”, which makes its world premiere in the TIFF Midnight section.

Earlier this year, Flying Lotus and his company Brainfeeder Films teamed up with Paris-based Logical Pictures and XYZ Films for a multi-picture development deal covering a slate of films the artist will produce and direct.

Flying Lotus, also known as Steven Ellison, is a Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, filmmaker and rapper. He founded Brainfeeder Records in 2008.

Thompson, who is also a producer, recently starred as Valkyrie in Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which hit theaters in July. She is a BAFTA nominated actress for her role in Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut “Passing” (2021). In 2020, Thompson starred in Amazon Prime’s “Sylvie’s Love,” which she produced. Thompson is currently in post-production on “Creed III,” which is slated for release in March 2023. His production company Viva Maude is also actively in development on several projects, including “Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” “Luster” and “Who Fear Death.

Gordon-Levitt is best known for his roles in ‘Inception’, ‘Looper’, ‘Don Jon’ and ’50/50′. He recently starred in Showtime’s new anthology series “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber” in which he played the role of Uber’s Travis Kalanick. Prior to that, he starred in the Apple TV+ series “Mr. Corman,” which he also created and directed. On the film side, Gordon-Levitt will next appear as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in “Pinocchio,” a film Live-action-CGI animated musical fantasy drama directed by Robert Zemeckis, who recently wrapped production on the indie comedy “Providence,” alongside Lily James and Himesh Patel.

“Ash” will serve as a follow-up collaboration between XYZ and GFC, who worked together on New Zealand Oscar entry “The Dead Lands,” by Toa Fraser, which was introduced to the US market by James Cameron, and the upcoming Toa feature “6 Days”, starring Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish.

Flying Lotus said of “Ash”: “It’s an absolute dream come true to collaborate with some of the most talented actors.”

Matthew Metcalfe, who directs GFC and Nate Bolotin, partner at XYZ Films, added: “We couldn’t be happier to have Tessa and Joseph star in this film, they are both incredibly talented actors and gifted. With Steve at the helm, this will be a truly visionary film and we couldn’t be more excited to bring the project into production in 2023.”

Also on XYZ’s TIFF list is a feature film about the rise and fall of the first smartphone company Blackberry (formerly Research in Motion).

Current titles from GFC Films include “A Mistake,” Christine Jeffs’ medical misadventure drama starring Elizabeth Banks, and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” based on Mark Manson’s worldwide bestseller.

Echo Lake Entertainment is currently producing “The Great” for Hulu.

Thompson is replaced by WME, Mosaic and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Gordon-Levitt replaced by WME and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.

Kimberly B. Nguyen