YouTube star turned filmmaker Joe Penna of MysteryGuitarMan fame will direct the XYZ Films project.
Anna Kendrick has signed on to star in Stowaway, a sci-fi thriller from XYZ Films.
YouTube star turned filmmaker Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison, the duo behind survival thriller Arctic, make up the creative team behind the project, which XYZ and CAA Media Finance will introduce at this week’s AFM. Penna and Morrison co-wrote the script, and Penna will direct.
According to the logline, Stowaway follows the crew of a spaceship headed to Mars that discovers an accidental stowaway shortly after takeoff. Too far from Earth to turn back and with resources quickly dwindling, the ship’s medical researcher (Kendrick) emerges as the only dissenting voice against the group consensus that has already decided in favor of a grim outcome.
XYZ will produce alongside RISE Pictures and augenschein Filmproduktion.
Penna became an early YouTube star with his MysteryGuitarMan channel, and parlayed that into a directing career. In 2017, he made Arctic, a survival thriller starring Mads Mikkelsen that was an official selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and whose North American rights were acquired by Bleecker Street Media (Colette).
Stowaway marks the second collaboration between XYZ and Penna and Morrison after Arctic. XYZ will also continue sales at AFM on a number of titles, including Synchronic, starring Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan, and The Silencing, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Kendrick, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work in 2009’s Up in the Air, is currently in theaters with Paul Feig’s thriller A Simple Favor. The movie, which also stars Blake Lively, has grossed over $53 million since its September debut. The actress is also the star of the Pitch Perfect franchise.
Kendrick is repped by CAA and Morris Yorn. Penna and Morrison are repped by CAA, Management 360 and Hansen Jacobson.