Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett and director Misha Green are reteaming for a thriller titled Sunflower that’s in development at Lionsgate. Green will direct off a script she wrote, and will also produce alongside Craig J. Flores and his Bread and Circuses Entertainment banner.
The film will see two women struggle to escape from a deranged college professor who holds them hostage on a remote sunflower farm.
Smollett and Green first worked together on the critically acclaimed WGN series Underground, before reuniting for their ten-episode HBO limited series Lovecraft Country, which earned 18 Emmy nominations, including nominations for Smollett’s performance, Green’s writing, and one for Outstanding Drama Series.
Nathan Kahane, President of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement:
“Everyone at our studio was completely drawn in by the way Misha, Jurnee, and the Lovecraft Country team worked so confidently to create a compelling genre series – then subverted the genre and reinvented it through a new lens. That’s the opportunity with Sunflower. The screenplay is unique, thrilling, and flat-out scary. It’s going to make a hell of a movie.”
Green added: “Sunflower was the first script I sold when I landed in Hollywood, and now having the opportunity to make it my first feature directorial outing feels like kismet. I couldn’t have hoped for better partners and collaborators than Nathan, the Lionsgate team, Craig, and Jurnee to help me shepherd it to the big screen.”
While this will be Green’s directorial debut, she has worked on other films, including the upcoming Netflix film The Mother, which she wrote and produced. Smollett has recently been seen in her own Netflix projects, Spiderhead and Lou. She’ll next be seen in The Burial alongside Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones.
Smollett and Green’s collaboration on Lovecraft Country was immensely successful; hopefully they can continue their good form with Sunflower. Lionsgate is reportedly eyeing a summer start for production.