Dan Stevens, Jessica Henwick Added to Cast. NEON to Release in 2023
NEON has wrapped production on Tilman Singer’s Cuckoo, the feature film debut of Hunter Schafer (Euphoria). The horror film, written and directed by Singer, was shot on 35mm in Germany.
With plot details being kept under wraps, post-production is currently underway for the film’s 2023 release. Following his 2018 debut Luz, Singer became one of the most sought-after up-and-coming filmmakers. Lauded as a “major new talent” in cinema, Singer has been critically acclaimed for his genre-bending storytelling and wholly unique approach to horror.
The ensemble cast, led by Schafer, includes Dan Stevens, along with Jessica Henwick, Marton Csókás, and Greta Fernández.
Cuckoo reunites Singer with Luz lead actor Jan Bluthardt, as well as cinematographer Paul Faltz and production designer Dario Mendez Acosta. Simon Waskow will also return as composer and Henning Hein as sound designer.
Executive produced by Tom Quinn, Jeff Deutchman, Emily Thomas, and Ryan Friscia for NEON, Cuckoo is produced by Markus Halberschmidt, Josh Rosenbaum, Maria Tsigka, and Ken Kao, Thor Bradwell and Ben Rimmer, in a cooperation between FICTION PARK (Germany) and Waypoint Entertainment (USA). Additional funding led by the Film und Medien Stiftung NRW, HessenFilm and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).
Schafer made her acting debut portraying Jules in the HBO Emmy-winning series “Euphoria.” After co-writing and co-executive producing a special episode of the critically acclaimed series, Schafer expanded her resume, directing Girl in Red’s music video for ‘hornylovesickmess’. In 2021, Time named Schafer to its Next list of 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future. She recently joined the cast of The Hunger Games prequel: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Schafer is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
Stevens starred in I’m Your Man, Germany’s official Academy Award submission for Best International Feature, which made the 2022 shortlist. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and received multiple nominations at the German Film Awards including Best Actor for Stevens. Stevens currently stars in the Starz political thriller series, “Gaslit,” alongside Sean Penn and Julia Roberts. He was recently announced as the lead of Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong sequel.
Henwick will begin filming NEON’s Kitty Green film, The Royal Hotel this summer alongside Julia Garner. She was most recently seen in the Warner Bros. box office hit Matrix: Resurrections, as well as in Blade Runner: Black Lotus. She will next be seen in the Russo Brothers film The Gray Man for Netflix this summer and Knives Out 2 this Fall.
After graduating from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School in 1989 with a Diploma in Acting, Csókás has worked extensively in film, television and on stage across New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. With notable roles such as Celebron in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and working opposite Denzel Washington in The Equalizer, Csókás was last seen in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel and stars along Russell Crowe in Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher.
Greta Fernandez is an exciting and talented Spanish actress who is currently shooting Carlos Lopez’s highly anticipated Netflix series “Santo.” She is likely best known as the lead of Belen Funes’ critically-acclaimed feature La Hija De Un Ladron, for which she won a Concha de Plata in the category of Best Actress. The film was part of the official selection for the 2019 San Sebastian Film Festival and won Greta a handful of international awards and recognitions. Additionally, for her fiery supporting role in Isaki Lacuesta’s The Next Skin, Greta received a nomination in the 2017 Gaudi Awards. With over 15 films and TV shows under her belt, Greta has proven herself a force to be reckoned with across the new wave of Spanish cinema.
Article image courtesy of NEON / Photography by Felix Dickinson of Studio AAA
In just five years, NEON has garnered 18 Academy Award® nominations, 5 wins, including Best Picture, and has grossed over $180M 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 grossed over $53M at the domestic box office and broke multiple records. NEON has amassed a library of over 80 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 which grossed $16M worldwide; Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’Or winner, Titane; 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 studio has several projects in various stages of development and production including: The Painter and the Thief narrative remake; Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool starring Alexander Skarsgård; an untitled horror film from first-time feature director Bishal Dutta; Joshua Oppenheimer’s The End, a golden-age musical starring Academy Award Winner Tilda Swinton; the documentary, Seeking Mavis Beacon from director Jazmin Jones; Cassandra at the Wedding based on the Dorothy Baker novel; and Kitty Green’s The Royal Hotel, starring Julia Garner. Recent releases include; Jonas Carpignano’s sensation A Chiara; Beba,from New York Afro-Latina artist, Rebeca Huntt; Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman; and Ninja Thyberg’s daring debut feature Pleasure.
NEON received 6 Oscar nominations for Flee, The Worst Person in the World and Spencer. Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s, Flee made history becoming the first film to score an impressive trifecta of Oscar nominations in the categories of Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film. The Worst Person in The World from Norwegian writer-director Joachim Trier was nominated for Original Screenplay and International Feature Film; and Kristen Stewart received a nomination for Best Actress in Pablo Larraín’s Spencer.
At this year’s 75th Cannes Film Festival, NEON unveiled David Cronenberg’s Crimes of The Future starring Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, and Viggo Mortensen and Brett Morgen’s experiential, genre-defying film chronicling the career of David Bowie, Moonage Daydream. The company also acquired Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Broker, which made its world premiere In Competition, Mark Jenkin’s genre-mending horror Enys Men in Directors’ Fortnight, and Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness from Ruben Östlund.
Following a successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST 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 Songand Knight of Cups.
About FICTION PARK:
FICTION PARK was founded in Germany by producers Markus Halberschmidt (producer of many international co-productions, among them BIG FATHER, SMALL FATHER AND OTHER STORIES- VT/FR/DE/NL, Berlinale Competition), and Maria Tsigka (part of Greek Argonauts Productions as Producer & Head of Development for more than 10 years). FICTION PARK’s upcoming line-up, supported among others by Eurimages and a variety of financiers/funds from Germany like the Film und Medien Stiftung NRW, include besides CUCKOO: the crime/drama BEHIND THE HAYSTACKS (GR/DE/MK – debut feature in post-production by Asimina Proedrou), the suspense/drama THE MAN FROM ROME (NL/DE- by Jaap van Heusden, in post-production), the thriller MR. K (NL/BE/DE/NO by Tallulah H. Schwab, in financing) and FIVE SONGS FOR THE PATRIARCHY (anthology, using Virtual Production, by Dennis Todorovic, in development).