EXCLUSIVE: After the hit Ride Along films and the upcoming Flint Strong biopic, Ice Cube and Universal seem to have found their next high profile project, as Cube starred in the untitled sci-fi film for the studio with Patrick Aiello and Timur Bekmambetov becomes . Rich Lee will direct from a screenplay by Kenneth Golde.
The details of the plot are vague, other than being a grounded, District 9-style science fiction film that covers topics like privacy and surveillance. Universal has already lit the film green and quickly picked it up by going into production next month.
The talent behind the package was already intriguing to the studio, but what really sealed the deal was the technology Bekmambetov has been refining since signing his five-picture deal with the studio. The idea behind this format, which was part of the presentation, is a production that looked like a commercial event film, but had the budget of an included thriller. This new technology allows for completely remote production with all actors and crew working from their individual locations. So if Cube wanted his portion of the shoot to be done from home, it could be done easily and with a crew working from a different location. The shoot would be the first of its kind in this area and not only will it be done on a smaller budget, it will also provide the safe working environment any studio would like to achieve during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Universal was so impressed by the presentation that the studio aggressively pursued the project immediately after the presentation.
After taking some time to start his Big 3 basketball league, Cube was busy getting back in front of the camera last year. He directed the sports drama Flint Strong for Universal earlier this year, but production was suspended because of the pandemic. This film is slated to go back into production soon as well, with insiders saying the studio is very high considering how timely the subjects in the story are.
Cube is represented by WME, Prospect Park and Ziffren Brittenham LLP. Golde is represented by Darren Trattner. Lee is represented by Paradigm and Anonymous Content. Aiello and Bekmambetov are represented by WME.