EXCLUSIVE: Avatar: The Way of Water star Sam Worthington has joined Oscar winner Riz Ahmed and Emmy nominee Lily James in thriller Relay, which began filming this week in New York and New Jersey.
David Mackenzie (Hell Or High Water) is directing the feature for Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk (John Wick franchise), Sigma’s Gillian Berrie (Tetris) and Mackenzie and Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game).
In Relay, Ahmed will play Ash, a world class “fixer” who specializes in brokering lucrative payoffs between corrupt corporations and the individuals who threaten their ruin. He keeps his identity a secret through meticulous planning and always follows an exacting set of rules. When a message arrives one day from potential client Sarah (James), needing Tom’s protection just to stay alive, the rules start to change.
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Script comes from Justin Piasecki and Mackenzie. Executive producers include Black Bear’s Michael Heimler and John Friedberg, Thunder Road’s Erica Lee and Charlie Morrison, and Per Melita.
Black Bear is fully financing the film, which we revealed earlier this year. Black Bear International is handling international sales which launched at the EFM in Berlin. CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group, which together arranged the film’s financing with Black Bear, co-represent domestic rights.
Worthington is best known for starring in James Cameron’s Avatar franchise. He recently teamed up with Mackenzie for FX mini series Under the Banner of Heaven and he can be seen next in F. Gary Gray’s Lift for Netflix and Stefon Bristol’s Breathe with Jennifer Hudson. He is currently in production on Kevin Costner’s Western epic Horizon.
Black Bear Pictures is currently in post-production on Dumb Money, horror Immaculate starring Sydney Sweeney, Nyad from directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and The Marsh King’s Daughter starring Daisy Ridley. In TV, Black Bear recently wrapped production on Monsieur Spade written by Scott Frank and Tom Fontana, starring Clive Owen.
Worthington is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content, Shanahan Management and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox.
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