Origin of Species, the upcoming survival thriller by Ron Howard, will begin shooting in Queensland, Australia this fall with an all-star cast that includes Ana De Armas, Jude Law, Alicia Vikander, and Daniel Brühl.
Noah Pink of Tetris fame will be penning the script. The project is being masterminded by Howard’s Imagine Entertainment in tandem with CAA Media Finance and Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, who will be pitching the film next week at Cannes.
Despite its title, Origin of Species is not a biopic about Charles Darwin. It’s described in Deadline as “a darkly comic tale of murder and survival, set around a group of eclectic characters who abandon civilization for the Galapagos. They are all searching for the answer to that ever-pressing question that plagues us all: what is the meaning of life.”
Ron Howard is no stranger to this kind of story, having recently directed Thirteen Lives, a thriller based on the 2018 rescue of a teenaged football team from an underground cave in Thailand. That film, scripted by William Nicholson, starred Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, and Joel Edgerton.
Industry observers are betting that the star-studded cast will attract interest (and investors) to the project. Ana de Armas most recently was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde. Jude Law captured two Oscar nominations, for The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain, while Alicia Vikander won an Oscar for best supporting actress in The Danish Girl. Meanwhile, Daniel Brühl snagged a Golden Globes nomination for best supporting actor in Rush, another picture directed by Ron Howard.
In addition to his stint as director of Thirteen Lives, Howard has also been an executive producer on Willow, a Disney+ property, for which he hopes eventually to direct an episode. As a child and teenager, Howard was acclaimed for his acting in television sitcoms such as The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days. He also played a leading role in the 1973 film American Graffiti.
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