The younger of the acting sisters, Elle Fanning is turning into quite the prolific actress, and one whose talent is rarely up for debate. So we’ll gladly keep welcoming her here in the land of sci-fi, and her next project sounds like she might be perfect for it, as she and Elysium‘s Diego Luna have both signed on to star in the — wait for it — post-apocalyptic drama IO. Teenage girls are the only things that matter after the world goes to shit.
Thankfully there are no factions or competitions to be had here, as IO is more of a character-driven feature. (Perhaps like Z for Zachariah in that way.) Fanning will go through the coming of age section of her youth on a planet that has seen a widespread cataclysm make long-term living impossible. She’s one of the last people left, trying to find some kind of a cure to help save the Earth and make it livable again, all as the last of the off-planet shuttles is heading out to a colonized planet in distant space. That’s no small task.
Meanwhile, Luna will play an enigmatic refugee that interrupts his own trip to the shuttle launch in order to make the girl question herself and her intentions of bringing the planet back to its prime. That’s just like a mysterious refugee dude, always trying to ruin everyone else’s final days on Earth. As not to have Fanning overshadow him, I also find Diego Luna to be as solid as actor as they come, although his roles are too few and far between for my greedy tastes.
According to Deadline, this will be the second feature from director Clay Jeter. After a handful of short films, Jeter released his first feature, Jess + Moss, in 2012. In it, Freaks and Geeks and Buffy star Sarah Hagan and Austin Vickers play two second cousins who experience a “sexual awakening.” To each their own in a fictional feature debut, I suppose. I haven’t seen it, so I’m not sure how Jeter’s talents will fare in the sci-fi genre. IO was actually developed at the Sundance Institute’s Writers Lab, where Jeter wrote the script with his Jess + Moss co-writer Will Basanta and Charles Spano.
Fanning, who just went through dire Earth times in Young Ones, will soon be seen in Jay Roach’s biopic Trumbo, and opposite Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon in Gay Dellal’s Three Generations. She’ll next go on to film Nicolas Winding Refn’s horror The Neon Demon. Luna, who directed the 2014 biopic Cesar Chavez, is currently directing the drama Mr. Pig with Danny Glover and Maya Rudolph. He voiced Manolo in the recent animated flick The Book of Life and will next be seen with Mel Gibson and William H. Macy in Jean François Richet’s action thriller Blood Father.
Final thought on IO, which is set to go into production later this year: if they make eight sequels to this movie, does that make io9.com cross-marketing?