Flying Lotus’ “Ash” Adds Tessa Thompson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

After making his feature directorial debut with Kuso in 2017, Grammy-winner Steven “Flying Lotus” Ellison has landed an ambitious project for his next film. And he’s already recruited some major star power to join the cast. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tessa Thompson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have booked the lead roles in Ash, a new sci-fi thriller set in the far reaches of space.

Thompson stars in the film as a woman who wakes up on a distant planet and discovers that all the remaining crew members of her space station have been horribly murdered. Eventually, a mysterious stranger (played by Gordon-Levitt) arrives on the scene to rescue her. But it isn’t long before trust issues begin to take root between the two of them. Thompson’s character begins to wonder if her so-called “savior” is truly good-natured. Meanwhile, Gordon-Levitt’s rescuer questions whether Thompson’s character is as blameless as she claims to be.

Ash features a more traditional plot structure than Ellison’s work on Kuso. That film (on which he was simply credited as “Steve”) was actually a collection of four vignettes mixing elements of body horror and surrealist comedy. As he did with Kuso, Ellison is composing the musical score for Ash as well. The new feature was written by German-Brazilian screenwriter Jonni Remmler and also counts District 9’s Neil Blomkamp as one of its executive producers.

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Ellison has released four studio albums under his Flying Lotus moniker. The most recent of which was the soundtrack for the Netflix anime series Yasuke. Additionally, Ellison is a highly in-demand producer in hip-hop and R&B. Last year, he won his first Grammy for Best Progressive R&B Album for producing Thundercat’s latest LP, It Is What It Is. His next movie is a segment of V/H/S/99, which premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

TIFF is also where the filmmakers will launch pre-sales for Ash’s distribution rights. XYZ Films and GFC Films are both spearheading the movie’s development as producers, with the former studio handling the financing. No release window has been announced yet.

What do you think of Flying Lotus’ plans for Ash? Give us your impressions in the comment section below!

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