Principal photography is underway in Omaha, Nebraska for Chad Bishoff’s psychological thriller, Daft State. With two names already announced, another four were added and confirmed this week with Two-time Teen Choice Award nominee-Jake T. Austin (Disney’s “The Wizards of Waverly Place”, New Year’s Eve), Paulo Costanzo (CBS’ “The Good Fight,” Netflix’s “Designated Survivor”), Ka’ramuu Kush (Five Deep Breaths, Salvation Road) and Iman Karram (Netflix’s Glow) also set to join the pic.
The four stars join previously announced leads Christopher Backus (HBO’s “Big Little Lies”, Netflix’s “Mindhunter,” Apple TV+’s “Truth be Told”) and Skye P. Marshall (Netflix’s “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” NBC’s “This is Us”). Billed as a “relentlessly gripping thriller, molded in the vein of classic Hitchcockian suspense masterworks”, Daft State charts the mysterious psychological destruction of central character Easton (Backus), who is driven to the edge of sanity, and possible self-harm, by those that love him most – his wife (Marshall) and daughter. Will Easton succumb to their increasingly traumatizing pressure, or will he conquer the dark forces at play in his addled psyche?
“We’re so fortunate to have such an incredibly talented cast in our film,” said Bishoff. “I can’t wait for audiences to see what they bring to the screen.”
“Having a cast of this caliber with such extensive and established fan bases to help tell this gripping story centered on the complex nature of mental health, is an honor,” added producer Erich Hover.
Austin is a five-time Young Artist Award nominee, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards nominee and co-star of the Emmy-winning series The Wizards of Waverly Place; with other family-centric projects including Go Diego Go!, Hotel For Dogs and The Emoji Movie. Most recently he was featured in Lionsgate’s Adverse alongside Mickey Rourke, Lou Diamond Phillips and Sean Astin. With 5+ million followers on Instagram and Twitter, he uses his viral reach to create awareness for philanthropic causes such as The Boys & Girls Club and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Costanzo’s extensive credits include CBS’ Emmy-nominated series “The Good Fight” alongside Christine Baranski, Netflix’s “Designated Survivor” opposite Emmy-winner Kiefer Sutherland, Amazon’s “The Expanse” as Shed Garvey, HBO’s “The Night Of” as Ray Hale and is best known for playing Evan R. Lawson on eight seasons of Universal Pictures’ award winning “Royal Pains.” He was most recently in Amazon’s “Upload” from “The Office” creator Greg Daniels.
Kush is known for his work in the award-winning short Five Deep Breaths and for writing and directing SAG Award-winner Michael Harney in Salvation Road. Some of his other guest starring roles include Gordon on CBS’ “Girlfriends,” Lamont on CBS’ “Numb3rs,” Rafael Torres on CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles” alongside LL Cool J. Most recently he acted in Enchant TV’s “Compersion” as Colt Brixton.
Rising talent Karram has appeared in Netflix’s Emmy-winning series Glow opposite Alison Brie, and the CW’s hugely successful football drama All American. She has also appeared in many music videos, including Dove Cameron’s Genie in a Bottle, which has been viewed 279 million times on Youtube.
Executive producers of the suspense mystery include industry heavyweights Inny Clemons whose credits include Straight Outta Compton, Next Day Air, Netflix’s Sneakerheads, and the recently wrapped production of the Mo McRae directed dark comedy thriller A Lot of Nothing, executive produced by David Oyelowo and Anonymous Content. Daft State executive producers also include Lisa Crnic (Paramount’s Clifford the Big Red Dog), Brett Cullen (Joker, The Dark Knight Rises, HBO’s “True Detective”), and Jonas Roeser (It Snows All the Time).
The Syncretic Entertainment production is produced by Erich Hover and frequent collaborator Bishoff; their previous projects include Lionsgate’s The Turkey Bowl, the SXSW official selection M.F.A., and the upcoming It Snows All the Time starring Cullen and Taryn Manning. Hover is also a part of the production team, with Clemons, on A Lot of Nothing.
Austin is repped by Gersh. Costanzo is repped by Gersh, Artist First and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder, & Christopher LLP. Kush is repped by Gersh and Levin/Brown Management.