Katia Winter (Arena) and Ted Levine (Shutter Island) have been tapped to star in writer/director Blair Erickson’s horror film The Banshee Chapter. We first told you about the project earlier this month when it was announced that Zachary Quinto’s production banner, Before the Door Pictures, would make The Banshee Chapter its third feature project. Per the press release, the film will tell the story of a young journalist (Winter) who goes looking for a missing friend (to be played by True Blood‘s Michael McMillian) who “had been experimenting with mind-altering chemicals developed in secret government drug tests.”
The almost always great Levine will make a turn as a “rogue counter-culture novelist” who helps Winter during the course of her search. The Banshee Chapter is scheduled to begin shooting in New Mexico this week. For a little more on the project and Quinto’s Before the Door Pictures, hit the jump to check out the full press release.
Here’s the press release:
Albuquerque, NM (August 25, 2011)—Ted Levine (SHUTTER ISLAND, AMERICAN GANGSTER, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), Katia Winter (ARENA, LEVEL PLAYING FIELD, BARRY BROWN), and Michael McMillian (THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2) will star in the elevated horror feature THE BANSHEE CHAPTER. Interactive and transmedia director Blair Erickson wrote the screenplay and will make his feature directorial debut on the project.
Zachary Quinto’s (STAR TREK) production company, Before The Door Pictures (BTD) has partnered with Sunchaser Entertainment and German producer Christian Arnold-Beutel (THE LEDGE, FLYPAPER) to produce. Sunchaser’s Stephanie Riggs and BTD’s Corey Moosa are serving as producers while Arnold-Beutel and BTD’s Quinto, Neal Dodson and Sean Akers are executive producing. The project commences principal photography this week in New Mexico.
THE BANSHEE CHAPTER centers on a young, female journalist (Winter) who follows the mysterious trail of a missing friend (McMillian) that had been experimenting with mind-altering chemicals developed in secret government drug tests. Levine plays the role of a rogue counter-culture novelist with a penchant for substance abuse and firearms who leads the journalist into the mystery of dangerous chemical research. A fast-paced blend of fact and fiction, the film is based on real documents, actual test subject testimony, and uncovered secrets about programs run by the CIA.
Most recognized for the deep bass tone of his voice, Levine is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood. His numerous film credits include WONDERLAND with Val Kilmer and Kate Bosworth, IRONWEED with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, BETRAYED with Debra Winger and Tom Berenger, HEAT with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, GEORGIA with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Mare Winningham, BULLET with Mickey Rourke, WILD, WILD WEST with Will Smith and Kevin Kline; Ivan Reitman’s EVOLUTION with David Duchovny and Julianne Moore, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS with Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, Jonathan Demme’s thriller THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE with Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton; Jonathan Demme’s THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE with Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, BIRTH opposite Nicole Kidman; the critically acclaimed MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA; among many others. Levine is represented by Robbie Kass of Kass & Stokes Management.
Swedish born actress Winter studied acting and film editing in London. She found quick success working in British Television and Films including the UK drama UNMADE BEDS (2009), directed by award-winning Alexis Dos Santos and EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE (2011) directed by Mejhad Huda. Winter moved to the US in 2010 and immediately booked the lead female role in ARENA opposite Kellan Lutz (Twilight) and Samuel L. Jackson. She just finished shooting the lead role in the independent film HAPPY & BLEEDING alongside Matthew Settle (Gossip Girl). Winter resides in New York, but continues to work in London and Sweden. She is represented by Innovative Artists and Schachter Entertainment in the states and The BWH Agency in the UK.
McMillian has been working steadily in film and television over the past few years, most notably on HBO’s smash hit, “True Blood” as the vampire-hating cult leader, Reverend Steve Newlin. McMillian starred in the 2004 critically acclaimed indie film, DORIAN BLUES as a young man struggling to come out of the closet to his conservative family, before moving on to leading roles in “What I like About You” opposite Amanda Bynes and TNT’s “Saved” with Tom Everett Scott. Other credits include “Veronica Mars,” THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2, “Big Love,” “CSI:NY,” ”The Mentalist,” “Firefly,” IMAGINE THAT and “Hot in Cleveland.” McMillian will next be seen in Showtime’s upcoming series, “House of Lies” opposite Don Cheadle. In 2009, McMillian co-wrote wrote and produced the award-winning short film, “Glock” and has recently filmed his directorial debut, the sci-fi short, “Charlie 13″ which he also wrote. McMillian co-wrote the full length feature film, “The New Life,” with Kat Coiro, which is currently in development with Coiro attached to direct and is produced by Holly Weirsma. McMillian is also creator/writer of the graphic novel, “LUCID” for Archaia Entertainment and Before the Door Pictures and co-writer of the second “True Blood” comic book series, “True Blood: Tainted Love” for HBO and IDW.
BTD’s first feature, J.C. Chandor’s MARGIN CALL, premiered at Sundance in 2011, competed at The Berlinale, opened New Directors / New Films at MoMa to critical acclaim, and will be released domestically by Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate on October 21. The company is currently in post-production on their second film, an untitled romantic comedy from Victor Quinaz and Anna Martemucci’s PERIODS. Films, which wrapped in May. Quinto is producing an unscripted series for SyFy with RelativityREAL, starring photographer Tyler Shields.
Dodson has an hour-long scripted series in development at TNT starring Kimberly Williams-Paisley and created by Shaun Cassidy. BTD’s graphic novels published with Archaia, LUCID and MR. MURDER IS DEAD, were released at San Diego Comic-Con, and will both be widely available on October 11. BTD is also prepping a larger follow-up feature film with Chandor for the late fall. There are additional projects in their television, film, comic book, and new media slate awaiting announcement later in 2011.
As the Creative Director of Omnicom’s high-tech interactive agency “Millions of Us,” Erickson created break-through interactive stories, transmedia experiences, and live-action stories in virtual worlds, short films, and online communities. He wrote and directed an online alternate reality live-action thriller for the TERMINATOR franchise, created several 3-D virtual world experiences for Sony’s new Playstation Home, and directed the online live action with animated monsters for DreamWork’s MONSTERS VS. ALIENS. His diverse array of work for entertainment companies and clients include Warner Bros, Fox, SciFi Channel, E! Entertainment Television, Facebook, Activision, Ubisoft, Discovery, and DreamWorks.
Sunchaser Entertainment is currently in post-production of THE STANDBYS, a documentary about the ultimate underdogs, Broadway understudies and standbys. The company has produced works for Disney Creative Entertainment, HBO, multiple non-profit organizations and multi-million dollar research projects. The Manhattan-based Sunchaser is focused on narratives based on true stories as well as expanding the art of documentary storytelling.
Based in Germany, Christian Arnold-Beutel executive produced the Sundance hit THE LEDGE with Liv Tyler, Charlie Hunnam, Terence Howard, Patrick Wilson; IRONCLAD with Paul Giamatti, James Purefoy, Brian Cox and Kate Mara; the upcoming FLYPAPER with Patrick Dempsey and Ashley Judd; and SUPER HYBRID with Oded Fehr.