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Jurnee Smollett to Star in Misha Green Thriller Sunflower

Lionsgate announced today that Lovecraft Country creator Misha Green will reunite with Jurnee Smollett, who is set to star in the upcoming thriller Sunflower.

Green will make her directorial debut as she writes and helms the film; she will also produce alongside Craig Flores. Sunflower will be Green and Smollett’s next project, and the studio is eyeing a summer start for production.

Jurnee Smollett to Star in Misha Green Thriller Sunflower

In Sunflower, two women struggle to escape from a deranged college professor who holds them hostage on a remote sunflower farm.

Jurnee Smollett and Misha Green first worked together on the critically-acclaimed series Underground before reuniting for their ten-episode triumph Lovecraft Country. The series received 18 Emmy nominations, including nods for Smollett’s performance, Green’s writing, and Outstanding Drama Series, while Smollett was nominated for Emmy, NAACP and SAG Awards for her performance.

Jurnee Smollett

“Everyone at our studio was completely drawn in by the way Misha, Jurnee, and the ‘Lovecraft Country’ team worked so confidently to create a compelling genre series – then subverted the genre and reinvented it through a new lens,” said Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

“That’s the opportunity with Sunflower. The screenplay is unique, thrilling, and flat-out scary. It’s going to make a hell of a movie.”

Green added, “Sunflower was the first script I sold when I landed in Hollywood, and now having the opportunity to make it my first feature directorial outing feels like kismet.

“I couldn’t have hoped for better partners and collaborators than Nathan, the Lionsgate team, Craig, and Jurnee to help me shepherd it to the big screen.”

Jurnee Smollett

Meredith Wieck and Aaron Edmonds will oversee the project for Lionsgate. The deals were negotiated for the studio by Dan Freedman.

Misha Green created and executive produced the HBO series Lovecraft Country, which received 18 Emmy nominations (winning two awards); Green herself received an Emmy nod for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and was honored with a WGA Award and an NAACP Image Award for her work.

Her upcoming credits include writing and producing the feature film The Mother, which Netflix will release this year. She previously created and executive produced the television series Underground.

Jurnee Smollett was nominated for Emmy, SAG, and NAACP awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2021 for her performance in Lovecraft Country. Her recent credits include Birds of Prey opposite Margot Robbie, the Joseph Kosinski sci-fi film Spiderhead opposite Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller, and Lou, which she executive produced on and starred in opposite Allison Janney

Jurnee Smollett will next be seen in The Burial opposite Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones.

Craig J. Flores most recently produced critical and box office success Crawl for Paramount Pictures, alongside Sam Raimi for director Alexandre Aja, and the team is actively developing the next installment of the survival horror franchise.