Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Beauty and the Beast’s Josh Gad are set to star opposite Australian actor Alexander England in the zombie comedy Little Monsters, from Australian writer/director Abe Forsythe. Keith & Jess Calder’s Snoot Entertainment and Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories are producing the film, with production having begun this month in Sydney. The film has received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW.
The film follows Dave (England), a washed-up musician who volunteers to chaperone his nephew’s kindergarten class field trip after taking a shine to the plucky schoolteacher, Miss Caroline (Nyong’o). Dave’s intentions are complicated by the presence of the world’s most famous kids show personality, and competition for Miss Caroline’s affections, Teddy McGiggle (Gad). One thing none of them bargained for however, is a sudden zombie outbreak, from which Dave and Miss Caroline must protect the children.
Snoot’s Keith & Jess Calder are producing alongside Made Up Stories’ Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky, with Jeanne Snow executive producing.
“Jess and I are delighted to be working with Abe Forsythe and the whole team in Australia, as we’re huge fans of his first film Down Under.” said Keith Calder. “That we also get to work with Lupita Nyong’o and Josh Gad has turned a great experience into a total dream.”
Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia said “Little Monsters is an utterly charming and seemingly-impossible meld of zombie horror with romantic comedy that we expect will have genuine crossover appeal for audiences. Building on the working relationship forged on Down Under, we are thrilled to see Abe Forsythe and Jodi Matterson team up with vastly experienced producers Bruna Papandrea and Steve Hutensky and offer our congratulations to the team for assembling this inspired cast.”
Nyong’o, who won an Oscar in 2014 for her performance in 12 Years a Slave, most recently wrapped production on Black Panther from Disney/Marvel. She can next be seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which bows December 15 from Disney/Lucasfilm. Nyong’o is repped by CAA and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein and Lezcano.
Gad, who previously starred in Disney’s Frozen was this year in Beauty and the Beast and Open Road’s Marshall. Next he will be seen in Murder on the Orient Express, releasing via Twentieth Century Fox. Gad is repped by WME, Lighthouse Management & Media and Ziffren.
England who starred in Forsythe’s Down Under, was in Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenantand most recently Australian TV series, Offspring. England is repped by UTA, United Management and Management 360.
Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales.