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Melissa Barrera, Nicholas Hoult & Riley Keough Team For ‘The One’ – Deadline

HanWay Films has boarded The One, an erotic thriller starring Melissa Barrera and Nicholas Hoult and will launch sales at the Cannes Film Festival.

The project comes from writer-director team Kevin Armento and Jaki Bradley and is billed as “a nightmarish horror about the romantic and psychological warfare waged by our beloved popular entertainment — and also begs the question… are we, the viewers, complicit?”

Barrera, who’s coming off box office horror hit Scream VI, leads the cast opposite the Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award-nominated Hoult. Barrera plays Taylor, who last-ditch effort to find love by becoming a contestant on a reality dating show begins to feel terrifyingly real as she becomes a finalist. Amidst an opulent beachfront setting, fairy-tale dates and champagne, “pursuit turns into obsession and rivalry turns into treachery as reality itself blurs.”

HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales, with WME Independent and UTA co-repping the film for North America. Hoult also produces alongside Whitaker Lader via their production company Dead Duck Films. Riley Keough (Daisy Jones & The Six, Under the Bridge, The Girlfriend Experience) will also produce with Gina Gammell via their production company Felix Culpa. They made their directorial debut last year with War Pony, which won the Camera D’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, and Manodrome, which premiered at Berlin International Film Festival.

Barrera can be seen next in Your Monster and Anthony McCarten’s The Collaboration, based on the play of the same name. Her other credits include appearing in Carmen opposite Paul Mescal, Netflix’s Keep Breathing, All the World is Sleeping, Vida and Warner Bros In the Heights.

Hoult will be next appearing in Season 3 of Hulu series The Great. He recently wrapped production on Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu for Focus Features, and is currently filming Justin Kurzel’s The Order for Amazon. Later this year, he films Clint Eastwood’s Juror #2 for Warner Bros. His credits include Renfield, The Menu, Mad Max: Fury Road, Skins, About a Boy and the X-Men franchise.

Lana Condor is also starring. She’ll next be seen in the title role of DreamWorks and Universal Pictures animated film Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken and Warner Bros’ live-action/animated feature film Coyote Vs. ACME. She has appeared in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Moonshot and X-Men: Apocalypse among other titles.

“We’ve been dreaming up this project for years, and are thrilled to now bring it to life with our actual dream team,” said Armento and Bradley in a statement. “Nick, Melissa, Riley, and Lana are some of the most exciting talents around, and their passion for this film – shared by our incredible producing partners – has us even more eager to make this nightmare a reality.”

Said Hoult and Lader: “We were immediately drawn to this project that we think will be equally appealing to reality TV junkies and those who think it is a scourge on humanity. Jaki and Kevin’s script & vision promise a wild and deliciously dark film that will make audiences cringe, laugh, and question their own complicity. We’re so excited to help bring it to life with this fantastic team.” 

Gabrielle Stewart, CEO of HanWay Films, added: “This is an original, dynamic and scary exploration of the horror that lies deep inside the intimacy of one of the world’s most popular TV formats. We are thrilled to be working with this young and exciting creative team to bring something this fresh to the market.”

Barrera is represented by WME, Sugar23, attorneys Tara Kole and Danny Passman, and Imprint PR. Keough is represented by CAA, Hansen Jacobson Teller, and The Lede Company. Condor is represented by CAA, Goodman Genow Schenkman, and Persona PR. Hoult is represented by UTA, 42, Felker Toczek, and Relevant PR. Bradley and Armento are represented by WME, Kaplan / Perrone, and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. 

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