Asa Butterfield, of Ender’s Game fame, is set to lead the cast of CURS>R, a horror-thriller film that recently wrapped principal photography in the UK. Toby Meakins will direct the movie from a script by Simon Allen.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film is a dark twist on the ‘80s gaming obsession and was originally developed alongside Ridley Scott as a short-form series for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s ill-fated Quibi platform.
The story follows a broke student who, in pursuit of an unclaimed $100,000 prize, plays an obscure 1980s survival computer game. When the game unexpectedly curses the player, she is faced with dangerous choices and reality-warping challenges. After a series of terrifying moments, she realizes she’s no longer playing for the money but for her own life.
Starring alongside Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game) is Iola Evans (The 100) and Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes). Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Angela Griffin (The Hollow), Kate Fleetwood (Beirut), Ryan Gage (The Hobbit), and Joe Bolland (The Trial of Christine Keeler) round out the cast.
CURS>R comes from London-based producer and financier Anton, whose credits include Greenland, His Dark Materials, and The Night House. Sebastien Raybaud and John Zois will be producing alongside Stigma Films’ Matthew James Wilkinson.
Speaking about the project Zois expressed his admiration for director Toby Meakins, calling him a visionary in the horror space with an innate genius for both original storytelling and the stark, eerie palates he creates on screen. There is currently no release date information for CURS>R.
Butterfield’s casting adds to the growing list of the British star’s credentials. The actor’s breakout role was in 2008’s tragedy film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which earned him nominations for several accolades, including a London Film Critics Circle Award.
For his leading performance in Hugo (2011), Butterfield was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer and the Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer. He also appeared in Morgan Matthews’s X+Y which earned him a nomination for the British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
He also starred in 2013’s Ender’s Game, a sci-fi action film based on Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel of the same name. Butterfield starred as Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, an unusually gifted child who is sent to an advanced military academy in space to prepare for a future alien invasion.
Written and directed by Gavin Hood, the cast also included Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, and Viola Davis, with special appearances by Abigail Breslin and Ben Kingsley. Unfortunately, Ender’s Game received mixed reviews and failed at the box office, earning only $125.5 million on a $110–115 million budget.
But Ender’s Game was popular with some viewers and in November 2013, cast member Aramis Knight said a script for a sequel called Ender’s Shadow existed. Hood, the director, initially wanted to film it concurrently with Ender’s Game, but due to budget constraints, it never happened.
Meanwhile, you can catch Asa Butterfield in the Netflix comedy-drama series Sex Education.