HUNTER SCHAFER, ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE JOHN MALKOVICH, GEMMA CHAN AND SOFIA BOUTELLA TO STAR IN TILMAN SINGER’S “CUCKOO” FOR NEON
NEON is Financing the Horror Pic which Begins Principal Photography in 2022
New York, NY, August 31, 2021 – NEON today announced that Hunter Schafer, Academy Award® Nominee John Malkovich, Gemma Chan and Sofia Boutella will star in the upcoming Cuckoo, written and to be directed by Tilman Singer. Jan Bluthardt, Zita Hanrot, and Proschat Madani round out the cast. Ken Kao and Josh Rosenbaum of Waypoint Entertainment are producing along with Markus Halberschmidt and Maria Tsigka of FICTION PARK, and Thor Bradwell. NEON is financing the horror picture, which will begin principal photography in April 2022.
Cuckoo marks Tilman’s sophomore feature following his supernatural horror film Luz, which debuted at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival and won a Special Jury Prize for Best Horror Film at Fantastic Fest and Best Film at the Milan Film Festival. The team behind Luz is also reuniting for Cuckoo, which includes Paul Faltz as Cinematographer, Simon Waskow as Composer, and Dario Mendez Acosta as Production Designer.
Schafer made her acting debut portraying Jules in the HBO critically acclaimed series “Euphoria.” She also co-wrote and co-executive produced a special episode for the series, which aired earlier this year. In 2021, Time named her to its Next list of 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future.
Malkovich was nominated for two Academy Awards for his roles inPlaces in the Heart and In the Line of Fire. He has starred in over 70 films, including The Killing Fields, Empire of the Sun, Dangerous Liaisons, Of Mice and Men, Mulholland Falls, Con Air, Rounders, Being John Malkovich, Shadow of the Vampire, Ripley’s Game, Johnny English, Burn After Reading, Red, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Warm Bodies, Cesar Chavez, Bird Box, and Velvet Buzzsaw. He will next star in Charlie Day’s El Tonto with Kate Beckinsale and Jason Sudeikis and Empress of Serenity with Bill Hader and Issa Rae.
Chan gained widespread recognition for her role in Jon M. Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians, which became a critical and commercial hit. She recently joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel. Last year she also starred opposite Meryl Streep in Let Them All Talk, an original comedy directed by Steven Soderbergh, and she can currently be heard as the voice of Namaari in Disney’s latest animation, Raya and the Last Dragon. Chan will star in the upcoming Marvel Studios film Eternals alongside Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington, Richard Madden, and Salma Hayek, and in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling with Florence Pugh, Chris Pine and Harry Styles.
Boutella came to be known for her break out turn in the hit franchise film The Kingsman. She went on to star in Universal’s The Mummy with Tom Cruise, Atomic Blonde alongside Charlize Theron, Ramin Bahrini’s Fahrenheit 451 for HBO and A24’sClimax for Gaspar Noé. She can currently be seen in Wyatt Rockefeller’s feature debut Settlers for IFC Films.
Schafer is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern, Malkovich by WME, Chan by Independent Talent Group, WME and M88, and Boutella is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and 42. Cuckoo will have additional support from German Regional Fund Film und Median Stiftung NRW.
NEON recently debuted three titles to critical acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival, and took their second Palme d’Or winner in a row, just off the heels of Parasite, with Julia Ducournau’s Titane. The company also premiered Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria starring Tilda Swinton, which tied for the Jury Prize, and the anthology feature The Year of the Everlasting Storm. Out of the festival, NEON acquired the breakout instant classic The Worst Person in The World fromNorwegian writer-director Joachim Trier, which took the Best Actress Award for Renate Reinsve, as well as Jonas Carpignano’s festival sensation A Chiara, which won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European film in the Directors’ Fortnight section.
The company’s upcoming slate also include Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, executive produced by Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Pablo Larrain’s Spencer, as well as Zhang Yimou’s One Second and Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman, both of which will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
In just four years, NEON has garnered 12 Academy Award® nominations, 5 wins, including Best Picture, and has grossed over $150M at the box office. The company continues to push boundaries and take creative risks on bold cinema such as Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which made history winning four Academy Awards®, becoming the first non-English-language film to claim Best Picture. The film, which also unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, has amassed over $53M at the domestic box office and broke multiple records including highest per screen average of the year and highest per screen average for a foreign language film of all time. NEON has amassed a library of over 50 films with noteworthy releases including: Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning and record-breaking Honeyland, which is the first non-fiction feature to land Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, 2019’s highest grossing documentary with a worldwide gross of $16M; Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which surpassed $13M at the box office; and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, which garnered multiple Academy Award® nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in domestic box office.
The company has several projects in various stages of development and production, including Pablo Larraín’s Spencer starring Kristen Stewart; The Painter and the Thief narrative remake, and Duke Johnson’s The Actor starring Ryan Gosling. NEON continues to be an impressive force recently debuting three titles to critical acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival, and taking their second Palme d’Or winner in a row, just off the heels of Parasite, with Julia Ducournau’s Titane. The company also premiered Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoriastarring Tilda Swinton, which tied for the Jury Prize, and the anthology feature The Year of the Everlasting Storm. Out of the festival they also acquired: The Worst Person in The World from Norwegian writer-director Joachim Trier, which took the Best Actress Award for Renate Reinsve; Jonas Carpignano’s festival sensation A Chiara, which won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European film in the Directors’ Fortnight section. Additional recent acquisitions include:Zhang Yimou’s One Second and Céline Sciamma’s Petite Mamanwhich will both premiere at at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival; andJonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, executive produced by Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. NEON’s recent releases include: Jamila Wignot’s Ailey; Pig, starring Nicolas Cage; Venice’s Grand Jury Prize Winner Michel Franco’s New Order; Gunda directed by Victor Kossakovsky and executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix; Robert Machoian’s powerful thriller The Killing of Two Lovers; Ben Wheatley’s Horror Film In The Earth; R.J. Cutler’s Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry Night of the Kings, Philippe Lacôte’s Ivory Coast Oscar Submission; Andrei Konchalovsky’s Dear Comrades!, Russia’s Academy Award Submission; Francis Lee’s romantic drama Ammonite starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan; Alex’s Gibney’s documentary Totally Under Control; Max Barbakow’s sought after Palm Springs starring Andy Samberg, which NEON acquired with Hulu; Josephine Decker’s Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss; and the critically acclaimed Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes® and Independent Spirit Awards.
After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin’s and Micah Green’s strategic venture) partnered with NEON’s Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.
About WAYPOINT Entertainment:
WAYPOINT Entertainment is a film and television development and production company co-founded in 2010 by Ken Kao. Waypoint recently produced Yorgos Lanthimos’ film THE FAVOURITE, and Jonah Hill’s directorial debut MID90S. THE FAVOURITE garnered ten Oscar nominations, winning Best Actress for Olivia Colman’s performance, in addition to seven BAFTA awards and a Golden Globe. Additionally, Kao and Waypoint have produced films such as THE NICE GUYS, HOSTILES, THE GLASS CASTLE, SILENCE, SONG TO SONG and KNIGHT OF CUPS.
Josh Rosenbaum joined Kao across his various entertainment companies in 2015. He executive produced THE FAVOURITE and served as co-producer on MID90s and HOSTILES among others.
About Thor Bradwell:
Thor Bradwell started his career at WME. He spent a decade there cultivating the careers of young actors and directors including AARON TAYLOR JOHNSON, ALDEN EHERENEICH, XAVIER DOLAN, ZAC EFRON, TROYE SIVAN, RILEY KEOUGH, TAYLOR LAUTNER, etc. In 2013, Thor Bradwell joined RICK YORN as PRODUCER/MANAGER at LBI. Client list included: MARTIN SCORSESE, LEONARDO DICAPRIO, TODD FIELD, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE etc. In 2016, Thor started his own management/production firm, THIRTY THREE
MANAGEMENT. Currently, Thor is producing BRATNEY AND THE GIRLS with A24 for FX starring Awkwafina, Sara Paulson, Willam Dafoe and Drake.
About FICTION PARK:
FICTION PARK Entertainment was founded in the spring of 2017, by producers Markus Halberschmidt and Maria Tsigka based on the idea entertainment is not a bad word, and trusting storytelling’s power to heal and inspire.
Maria has been part of Greek Argonauts Productions as Producer and Head of Development for more than 10 years, and until 2017. She has been involved in commercial, art-house and international productions. Markus started working as producer in 1996. In 2001 he founded busse & halberschmidt and today has an expertise based on several international feature film productions including BIG FATHER, SMALL FATHER AND OTHER STORIES (VT/FR/DE/NL, Berlinale Competition, 2015). Supported by a variety of financiers from Germany, their projects aim to attract and move international audiences. FICTION PARK’s line-up includes projects in various stages of development and financing. Among them are the feature films LIFE ON LAIKA (sci-fi thriller) and BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS (drama, crime, coproduction with GR). Additionally series such as 1631: YEAR OF THE SPIDER (historical political drama) and MÜLLER (dramedy).