After action-comedy Charlie’s Angels and playing Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin, Naomi Scott has her eyes on her next project. THR reports she’s in talks to join Amblin’s upcoming sci-fi adventure, Distant.
With the addition of Scott, Amblin has cast two great young up-and-comers in the lead roles. Hamilton and In the Heights star Anthony Ramos was previously cast as the other lead. Scott is replacing The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan, who had signed on to play the female lead but had to drop out due to pandemic shutdown scheduling conflicts.
Will Speck and Josh Gordon (Blades of Glory, The Switch) are the directing duo for the project. The script was written by Spenser Cohen (Extinction). Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Fred Berger and Anna Halberg will produce. Amblin Partners’ co-president of production, Jeb Brody, and creative executive John Buderwitz will oversee the project for Amblin.
The original story centers on an asteroid miner who is stranded on an alien planet after a crash-landing. Running out of both oxygen and time, and pursued by hostile creatures, he has to cross the harsh terrain in order to find the only other survivor, a woman who got trapped in her escape pod during the crash.
It may seem like an odd fit that Amblin tapped Speck and Gordon to direct the space action-thriller, seeing as how their career has been built on comedies like Blades of Glory, The Switch, Cavemen and Office Christmas Party. But they also have sci-fi fantasy short series, The Power Inside, on their resume, so sci-fi seeds are there. And Cohen is a budding epic sci-fi writer with Extinction and the upcoming Roland Emmerich disaster movie, Moonfall. Whatever Speck and Gordon pitched to Amblin as their vision for Cohen’s script, it was clearly good enough for them to get the job despite it not playing to type. On the other hand, given the serious-sounding synopsis, it could be interesting if it were played as an action-comedy rather than a straight sci-fi thriller.
Distant is currently in pre-production and, considering Brosnahan having to drop out, is likely eyeballing a production start date in the near future. No release date is set yet but we’ll keep you updated.