Sam Worthington is on a roll in Berlin. The actor, who stars in the forthcoming second and third Avatar films between now and 2022, is currently circling two projects in Berlin: Sentient Pictures International/Voltage/UTA’s Alphas, and Blue Fox’s Counterplay (formerly titled Escape).
Alphas centers on an Gavin McDade (Worthington), an environmentalist who, in the wake of an out-of-control spike in the Great White Shark population, must come to terms with a disgraced former Orca trainer, ensuing an epic maritime battle between two distinctively powerful underwater apex predators.
Production begins in Puerto Rico this summer with Steven Quale (Into the Storm, Aliens of the Deep, 2nd unit director on Avatar and Titanic) directing from a screenplay by Frank Hannah (The Cooler) – Original story is by Hannah and Christopher Tuffin.
Pierre Morel (Taken, Peppermint) is producing next to Steve Richards whose Endurance Media is partly financing the pic. Renee Tab and Christopher Tuffin will also produce for Sentient, whose Jake Martin will exec produce with Square One’s Al Munteanu, and Voltage Pictures’ own Jonathan Deckter and Nicolas Chartier.
Academy Award winning VFX shop BUF (Bladerunner 2049) and Important Looking Pirates (The Shallows, Kon Tiki) will handle the creature VFX. Pete Zuccarini (Avatar and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises) will choreograph and shoot the underwater sequences.
The second feature film will follow-suit in CounterPlay, which shoots in Manila, Philippines in August. As Screendaily details it, Worthington tackles the role of “a former kidnap and hostage negotiator who comes out of retirement to help get a young man accused of drug trafficking out of the Philippines and back to Australia.”
CounterPlay marks the launch of MAM Media in association with BlackOps Studios Asia, whose Pedring Lopez (Nilalang, Maria), will direct. Scott Rosenfelt (Home Alone, Mystic Pizza) is producing with MAM Media’s Michael McDermott, and with Fusion Pictures’ Andy Green exec producing.