Joe and Anthony Russo have been developing The Electric State under their AGBO banner for several years now, but the brothers had only planned to produce the sci-fi movie. Now, with would-be director Andy Muschietti focused on making The Flash movie for Warner Bros., the Russos have signed on to direct the film, which will star none other than Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that Universal acquired the red-hot project following a major bidding war, largely by committing to a theatrical release. Seeing as production won’t start until late 2021 or early 2022, movie theaters will have hopefully rebounded by the time The Electric State is ready for release.
Based on the graphic novel by Tales from the Loop author Simon Stålenhag, The Electric State is set in an alternate future where human and robots live together in relative harmony and a teenage girl (Brown) realizes that her sweet-but-strange new robot friend has actually been sent to her by her missing brother. She and the robot set out to find the boy, uncovering a grand conspiracy in the process.
AGBO’s Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely will write the script, having previously worked with the Russos on Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War as well as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. They also wrote the script for the Russos‘ next movie, The Gray Man starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.
The Russos will produce The Electric State alongside AGBO‘s Mike Larocca, and they’ll be joined by Andy and Barbara Muschietti. Meanwhile, Russell Ackerman and John Schoenfelder will serve as executive producers on the project, which studios and streamers salivating when it hit the open market earlier this week.
Universal plans to fast-track The Electric State, though the studio will have to remain patient, as the Russos start filming The Gray Man next month in Long Beach, while Brown will no doubt have to shoot a new season of Stranger Things.
“We’re thrilled to have this deal with Universal who has committed to a theatrical release of Electric State,” the Russos told Deadline, which also spoke to the screenwriters. “This is incredible news for us as filmmakers, and for audiences around the world who want an opportunity to experience films in theaters again. This is also a positive sign that, as vaccines become available, the theatrical market is returning.”
“We’d have Joe and Anthony direct everything that we write and were excited the timing worked out for them to come on as directors,” added McFeely. “What’s nice about this is the themes of Electric State syncs up with their interests in technology and feels like the perfect property for them.”
“This is a very human story about a teenage girl with all the powers of a teenage girl and nothing more,” explained Markus. “Another thing we are really proud of when it comes to this story is all the major characters, barring one supporting character, are women which is super exciting to be involved in.”
AGBO‘s recent productions include 21 Bridges, the Netflix movies Extraction and Mosul, and the eerie genre movie Relic, while the opioid drama Cherry starring Tom Holland will debut on Apple TV+ in March following a limited run in select theaters.
Brown is coming off the success of her Netflix movie Enola Holmes, and in addition to Season 4 of Stranger Things, she’ll soon be seen in Adam Wingard‘s monster mash-up Godzilla vs. Kong, which is expected to premiere on HBO Max along with the rest of WB‘s 2021 slate. She’ll also battle a dragon in the Netflix movie Damsel from 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.