1 October 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Amazon secures Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Foe’ in €30m deal
26 Oct 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan
Amazon Studies has finalised its worldwide acquisition of Garth Davis sci-fi thriller Foe in a deal that is estimated to be in the region of €30 million.

The film was one of the most sought after packages at the Cannes Virtual Market earlier this year, with Deadline reporting in July that Amazon Studios had moved into exclusive talks with sellers FilmNation, CAA, and UTA over a worldwide rights deal for Foe.

Helmed by Lion director Garth Davis, the film is led by two of Ireland’s top acting talents - four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Normal People star Paul Mescal. LeKeith Stanfield was previously attached to the film, but has since been replaced by rising British star Aaron Pierre (The Underground Railroad).

Foe is set in a near future when corporate power and environmental decay are ravaging the planet. Mescal and Ronan play young married couple-of-seven-years, Junior and Hen, who live a solitary life on their isolated farm.

One night, a stranger named Terrance (Pierre) knocks on their door, bringing news that throws their lives into turmoil: Junior has been randomly selected to travel to a large, experimental space station orbiting Earth. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Hen won’t have a chance to miss him, because she won’t be left alone — not even for a moment. Hen will have familiar company that pushes her to make a life-changing decision.

Speaking about the Irish acting duo, director Davis told Deadline: “What I love about Saoirse is, you see her on screen and she is just so unfiltered and alive. She represents to me all the things we need to protect in the world. Putting her in the belly of this suspenseful and uneasy story is the whole point. What she represents is precious, she’s an empath. She fights for the things we all should be fighting for. I was looking for an actress who just had those qualities, and that beauty.”

“Paul Mescal, he is just a normal guy and you believe he’s married to her and that they come from the same part of the world, which they do in reality,” he added. “I buy them as a rural couple.”

The screenplay was co-written by director Garth Davis and author Iain Reid, and adapted from the author’s sci-fi novel. “I’ve been on the hunt to do something in sci-fi, it was always on my bucket list, and also to find material I could make an actor’s piece with a Cassavetes-ian level of performance,” Davis told Deadline.

“I read Foe and could not put it down. It’s incredibly suspenseful, very moving and dealt with sci-fi in a most grounded way that spoke to where we are heading as a society, with a lot of the questions we all have, explored in a profound way,” the director added. “And the love story just broke my heart, this story of self-determination, fighting for the things that are most precious in our lives and reminding audiences that this time we have here is precious and the way we treat each other is the way we need to be treating the planet. Foe was just a bull’s-eye, for me.”

Foe is being produced by Kerry Kohansky-Roberts of Anonymous Content Studios, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning of See-Saw Films, and Davis through his I Am That Shingle banner. Iain Reid ad Samantha Lang are executive producers on the project, which is an Anonymous Content Studios production.

Filming is due to get underway early next year in Australia.

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