The Crown star Matt Smith has been roped in to star alongside Emmy-nominee Morfydd Clark in BAFTA-nominated writer and director Daniel Kokotajlo’s supernatural horror film titled Starve Acre.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Starve Acre is currently in pre-production and will start shooting later this spring in the U.K. Cornerstone will be handling the worldwide sales and will launch the project at the Berlin Film Festival’s virtual European Film Market (EFM).
The modern horror Starve Acre explores “inherited trauma and loss within a world ruled by supernatural folklore.” Set in rural 1970s England, the story revolves around a couple Richard (Matt Smith) and Juliette (Morfydd Clark) find their idyllic family life disrupted when their son starts acting out of character.
The formerly happy couple grow farther apart when Richard buries himself in exploring a folkloric myth that the ancient oak tree on their land possesses phenomenal powers. While his wife Juliette turns to the local community to find some kind of peace, Richard obsessively digs deeper. An unexpected discovery soon occupies the couple’s attention and “dark and sinister forces” find their way into the home, offer a disturbing possibility of reconnection between them.
Based on the novel by Andrew Michael Hurley, the brooding horror film will be helmed by writer and director Daniel Kokotajlo, who was previously nominated BAFTA Award for his 2017 British drama film Apostasy, which was also in collaboration with Cornerstone. The renowned filmmaker won the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI for Apostasy.
The House Productions feature film will reportedly be produced by Tessa Ross (12 Years a Slave), Juliette Howell (Brexit: The Uncivil War) and Emmy Duffy (Rocks) with Access Entertainment, BBC Film and the BFI funding the film.
Cornerstone’s Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder added: “Daniel’s haunting cinematic vision for Starve Acre is breathtaking, and we’re excited to be able to continue our collaboration with him.”