EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winner Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) will star alongside Oscar-nominee Kate Hudson (Glass Onion) and actress and model Kaia Gerber (Babylon) in psychological thriller Shell from director Max Minghella (Teen Spirit).
The film, which will reunite The Handmaid’s Tale co-stars Moss and Minghella, is set in a near future when humanity’s cultural obsession with youth and beauty has been taken to new extremes.
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Black Bear International will be introducing the project to international buyers in Cannes and distributing directly in the UK and Ireland. CAA Media Finance and WME Independent are co-repping domestic rights.
Pic is being produced by Automatik’s Fred Berger (La La Land) and Brian Kavanaugh Jones (Insidious), alongside Minghella for Blank Tape (Teen Spirit), Elisabeth Moss and Lindsey McManus for Love & Squalor Pictures (Shining Girls) and Alicia Van Couvering (Cop Car), from a script penned by Jack Stanley (Lou). Jamie Bell will be executive producer. The deal was negotiated on behalf of Black Bear International by Jill Silfen.
In Shell, struggling actress Samantha (Elisabeth Moss) is given an opportunity to get a free trial at Shell, a pioneering health and beauty company which promises to keep its clients looking young forever. Samantha’s life and career is transformed by the treatment, and she develops a burgeoning friendship with Shell’s CEO, the ultra-glamorous Zoe Shannon (Kate Hudson). When a string of former Shell patients go missing under mysterious circumstances, including popular social media star Chloe Benson (Kaia Gerber), Samantha starts to fear she may be in danger herself.
Minghella said: “Shell packs a wildly entertaining genre movie with iconic characters and universal themes that are bound to have people talking long after they leave the theater. I’m so thrilled to be bringing it to life with this extraordinary cast and the incredible support of Black Bear International, Love & Squalor and Automatik”.
Moss added: “This is one of the most unique, entertaining and special scripts I’ve ever read and I am so honored to be a part of it as an actor and flattered that Max came to me with this character, who’s unlike anyone I’ve ever played before. Having worked with Max for years on The Handmaid’s Tale, I’m so thrilled to now be directed by him as I’m a huge fan of his as a filmmaker. We at Love & Squalor are also excited to be working alongside Automatik and Black Bear, two companies we very much admire.”
Minghella’s directorial debut Teen Spirit starred Elle Fanning, Zlatko Buric and Rebecca Hall, and premiered at Toronto before playing at SXSW. Moss’s recent big screen thrillers have included hits The Invisible Man and Us.
Black Bear International’s Cannes slate includes On Swift Horses starring Daisy Edgar Jones, Jacob Elordi and Will Poulter, and Timur Bekmambetov’s Motor City. Shell marks the third collaboration this year from Black Bear International and Automatik, after the launches of Longlegs starring Nicolas Cage and Fred & Ginger starring Margaret Qualley and Jamie Bell, which both sold at the Berlin market.
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