Joining the ranks of in-development sci-fi projects in Hollywood – the other high-profile one being Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt’s Passengers – is Charlie McDowell’s existential love story, The Discovery, which today cast its two leading players in Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, Mad Max: Fury Road).
Co-written by McDowell alongside his The One I Love writing partner Justin Lader, the film imagines a world where humanity has arrived at the earth-shaking conclusion that an afterlife exists. Changing the very perspective of our characters in one fell swoop, Hoult is on board to play the son of the man who stumbled upon, er, The Discovery, who falls deeply in love with Mara’s estranged persona. Haunted by a troubled past, both Mara and Hoult’s characters struggle to come to terms with the now-proven afterlife, and its existence is enough to upend any status quo that was once in place.
Acting as McDowell’s sophomore feature, The Discovery has all the tenets of a deep and thought-provoking drama, and now it’s got a couple of A-listers to help shepherd that love story to life. Its success will likely hinge on the on-screen chemistry between Mara and Hoult’s stricken pairing, though for now you can color us cautiously optimistic.
Alex Orlovsky is set to produce the sci-fi feature alongside James D. Stern of Endgame Entertainment, while the company will co-finance McDowell’s vision in tandem with Protagonist Pictures.
Charlie McDowell will set the wheels in motion on The Discovery when the picture enters production in early 2016.