Exclusive: Jenna Ortega Cast In Death Of A Unicorn With Paul Rudd, Details Revealed

Jenna Ortega and Paul Rudd will star in Death of a Unicorn, a film about a pharma company attempting to exploit the body of the mythical animal.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

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Wednesday star Jenna Ortega has been cast as Paul Rudd’s daughter in a new A24 movie titled Death of a Unicorn. According to our trusted and proven sources, Ortega will be teaming up with the Marvel star for a dark comedy in which a father and daughter encounter the titular mythical animal and decide whether or not to let dark forces exploit it. Though the A24 production and distribution company is best known for its popularization of “elevated horror,” it appears this movie will be more in the dark comedy genre.

In this new film, Paul Rudd will play Elliot, a pharmaceutical company employee, who travels with his daughter Ridley (Jenna Ortega) to an emergency meeting with his ultra-wealthy boss, Dell Leopold, at a distant wilderness retreat. Along the way, Rudd and Ortega accidentally hit a unicorn, and bring the one-horned animal along with them to the Leopold family compound, whereupon it is discovered that the unicorn’s blood, body, and horn have miraculously restorative properties.

Presumably, Death of a Unicorn will primarily be focused on whether the enormously wealthy pharma family will use the unicorn to amass further wealth and power, and if Paul Rudd and Jenna Ortega will go along with it or not. Currently, there is no word on who will play the drug magnate Dell Leopold, but there is any number of sinister character actors who would no doubt leap at the chance to get a meaty role like a capitalist overlord literally trying to turn magic into a drug. 

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Death of a Unicorn will be written and directed by Alex Scarfman in her feature debut, and produced by A24 darling Ari Aster (the man behind Hereditary, Midsommar, and most recently, Beau is Afraid). While the company has a reputation for psychologically intense horror, it is also behind comedically-tinged films like the Academy Award-winning Michelle Yeoh film Everything Everywhere All at Once and the Adam Sandler film Uncut Gems. 

As such, it seems that Death of a Unicorn will fit right in with the company’s general ethos. Jenna Ortega has actually starred in an A24 production previously, appearing in director Ti West’s 2022 slasher film X alongside Mia Goth. The film was followed by a prequel, Pearl, and soon will be concluded with a third film titled MaXXXine.

Jenna Ortega and Paul Rudd have not worked together before Death of a Unicorn, though the Scream actress has previously joked about her fears of encountering the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania actor. In general, Rudd is famous for his everyman-style persona and affable confusion, while Ortega is increasingly known for her unflappable, chilly deadpan, so they will likely be a fun pair to see together as a father and daughter.

Death of a Unicorn seems as though it will fit in with the burgeoning genre of movies that mix fantastic and/or horror elements with critiques of capitalist consumption and the privilege of the ultra-wealthy, like Bong Joon-ho’s anti-meat industry film Okja or Rachel Weisz’s Dead Ringers series, which targets the birthing industrial-complex. We’ll just have to see what Paul Rudd and Jenna Ortega bring to it.