EXCLUSIVE: Oscar nom Maria Bakalova has signed on to star in the genre pic God’s Country, marking the American directorial debut of Egor Abramenko (Sputnik), which will go into production in Romania under a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement in March.
The actress steps in for Melissa Barrera, who exited due to scheduling conflicts, according to a source close to the project. She plays the role of a young woman who travels to Kentucky to meet her fiancé, subsequently uncovering something sinister beyond comprehension, as her American dream curdles into a nightmare of biblical proportions.
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Will Soodik (Westworld) wrote the script. Also now aboard the project from Matt Reeves’ 6th & Idaho and ZQ Entertainment are Maraboyina Capital and Castel Films, who have joined as financiers. Maraboyina’s Suraj Maraboyina and Castel’s Cristi Bostanescu will produce alongside the previously announced Reeves (The Batman) and Rafi Crohn (Tales from the Loop) for 6th & Idaho, ZQ Entertainment’s Ara Keshishian and Petr Jákl (who financed the development), and Adam Kassan (End of Watch). WME Independent is repping foreign rights and co-reps domestic with CAA Media Finance.
Bakalova broke out with her Oscar-nominated turn opposite Sacha Baron Cohen in Prime Video’s Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and more recently starred in A24’s horror hit Bodies Bodies Bodies, additionally voicing Cosmo the Spacedog in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. She’ll soon be seen opposite Emilia Jones and Scoot McNairy in the Sofia Coppola-produced drama Fairyland, which world premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Other projects in the can for the actress are the sci-fi dramedy O Horizon and Jerry Seinfeld-directed Netflix pic Unfrosted. In development at Paramount is a Paul-Feig helmed spy comedy in which she’s set to star opposite Sebastian Stan.
Bakalova is represented by CAA, Brookside Artist Management, Insight Management & Production in the UK, and Yorn, Levine, Barnes.
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