Tessa Thompson & Marwan Kenzari to Lead Balestra
Westworld and Marvel Cinematic Universe star Tessa Thompson is keeping her upcoming production roster packed as she has signed on to star in the psychological thriller Balestra alongside Marwan Kenzari (Aladdin), according to Deadline.
The film, which is being penned by Imran Zaidi on an original story from Aron Eli Coleite, will focus on disgraced competitive fencer Joanna Bathory (Thompson), who is desperate for an Olympic comeback. Pressured by her husband and coach Rafe, she receives a prototype device that allows her to extend her training in to her sleep, creating lucid dreams. But as reality begins to blur after meeting a stranger named Elliot, she finds herself caught in her own web of subconscious desires and unfulfilling reality.
The project, which is set to be directed by Nicole Dorsey (Black Conflux), is set to be shopped at the upcoming virtual Cannes market by Mister Smith, Endeavor Content and CAA Media Finance and will be produced by Pierre Even (The Hummingbird Project) and executive produced by Thompson, Aron Eli Coleite (Locke & Key) and Automatik’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Fred Berger and Rian Cahill.
“Like the sport that Balestra explores, the conception of this piece is sharp and riveting – its is a fascinating look at the price of winning, and what trouble dreams can become when our sense of self worth, reality and identity are tethered too tightly to them,” Thompson said. “To embark on this journey, both in front of the lens and behind it, with Nicole Dorsey and this phenomenal team is a dream to me – a most beautiful one.”
Balestra is currently in pre-production, with the start of principal photography set to be dated between the star’s current commitments.