By Borys Kit
June 30, 2021
Amblin Partners’ Last Voyage of the Demeter is setting sail.
David Dastmalchian, one of the stars of the upcoming tentpole The Suicide Squad, Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham, Aisling Franciosi, and creature feature actor Javier Botet have joined Corey Hawkins in the horror project that is being directed by Scary Stories to Tell in the Darkfilmmaker André Øvredal.
Also on the manifest are Jon Jon Briones (Ratched), Stefan Kapicic (who played Colossus in the Deadpool movies), Nikolai Nikolaeff, Woody Norman, Martin Furulund and Chris Walley.
Demeter began production this week in Berlin and will later move to Malta. Bradley Fischer, Mike Medavoy and Arnold Messer, whose credits include Black Swan and Shutter Island, are producing, and the start of production demarks an almost 20-year journey to bring the story to the screen.
Demeter was the name of the ship that transported Dracula from Transylvania to London in Bram Stoker’s classic tale. In that 1897 novel, the ship washes up on the shores of England, tattered and broken, with one raving-mad survivor. Originally written in 2002 by Bragi Schut (Escape Room), the script tells the tale of that journey, in which the crew is slaughtered one by one by a mysterious passenger. Zak Olkewicz, who wrote the upcoming Brad Pitt-starrer Bullet Train and worked on Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy, wrote the current script.
Cunningham is playing the ship’s stately captain while Dastmalchian is Wojchek, the Demeter’s first mate.
Franciosi plays Anna, a stowaway, while Briones is the ship’s cook (on the menu, death). Kapicic and Nikolaeff are crew members who clearly won’t be on the return leg of the voyage.
Botet will portray Dracula. The casting of the actor gives an indication as to the interpretation of the classic character as Botet, standing at six-foot, seven inches is known amongst Hollywood directors for his work playing horror entities, aliens, and the things nightmares are made of. He has appeared in the It movies, The Conjuring 2, Crimson Peak, and Øvredal’s Scary Stories.
Amblin’s president of production Jeb Brody and senior vp, creative affairs Mia Maniscalco oversee the project for the company.
In Suicide Squad, Dastmalchian is playing Polka-Dot Man opposite Margot Robbie and Idris Elba. He will also show up in another big-budget epic, Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune, playing Piter De Vries opposite Timothée Chalamet and Oscar Isaac, which opens in October. The actor, known for his scene-stealing work in Marvel’s Ant-Man movies, recently became a comics author with his horror work, Count Crowley.
Cunningham is best known for his role as Ser Davos Seaworth in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He is lending his voice to two animated series, Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty and Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, the latter in which he plays Man-at-Arms.
Franciosi starred in the Venice Film Festival award-winning film The Nightingale, and also played Lyanna Stark in the sixth and seventh seasons of Game of Thrones. After Demeter, the actress will begin production on Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Rothko, opposite Russell Crowe and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Dastmalchian is repped by Atlas Artists and Hansen Jacobson. Cunningham is represented by Paradigm, Authentic Talent & Literary, and Independent Talent Group in the UK while Francioosi is represented by WME, United Agents and Hansen. Botet is represented by ALC actors.