Jurnee Smollett will reunite with Lovecraft Country creator Misha Green for Sunflower, Green‘s feature directorial debut. The film will tell the thrilling tale of two women attempting to escape from the remote sunflower farm where an unhinged college professor has taken them prisoner.
Says Green, “Sunflower was the first script I sold when I landed in Hollywood, and now having the opportunity to make it my first feature directorial outing feels like kismet.” Lionsgate president Nathan Kahane touts the script as “unique, thrilling, and flat-out scary”, and says “it’s going to make a hell of a movie”.
Smollett began her career as a child actor, appearing in the sitcoms Full House and On Our Own, and in the Robin Williams comedy Jack, before moving on to adult roles in The Great Debaters, Hands of Stone, and the TV series True Blood and Friday Night Lights. She earned acclaim and an Emmy nomination for her performance in Lovecraft Country, and gained a fan following for her portrayal of the superhero Black Canary in Warner Bros‘ Birds of Prey. She can next be seen alongside Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones in the Amazon courtroom drama The Burial.
A writer for Sons of Anarchy, Spartacus, and Heroes, Green created her own series with WGN‘s acclaimed antebellum drama Underground; when it was canceled after two seasons, she adapted the Matt Ruff horror novel Lovecraft Country for HBO. She wrote and produced the series, and made her directorial debut with the show’s eighth episode; it was widely acclaimed, and she earned an Emmy nomination for her scripts, but HBO declined to renew the series for a second season. Both Underground and Lovecraft Country starred Smollett, and Green was set to reunite with her again, writing a Black Canary movie for Warner Bros, but the status of that project remains unclear. She was also announced as the director of the sequel to the 2018 Alicia Vikander Tomb Raider film, but when the property left MGM, that project was scuttled. The Green-penned and produced The Mother, an action thriller starring Jennifer Lopez, is set to hit Netflix this May.
Sunflower will be produced by Green and Craig Flores, who recently produced the sleeper hit thriller Crawl. Meredith Wieck and Aaron Edmonds will oversee the project for Lionsgate.
Sunflower will begin production this summer. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.