House of Gucci breakout Madalina Ghenea is set to take the lead in upcoming shark survival thriller Deep Fear, starring alongside Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick, reports THR.
Set in the Caribbean, Deep Fear is described as an “intense and visceral survival thriller with furious action throughout.”
Directed by Marcus Adams (Long Time Dead, Octane, The Marksman) with the screenplay co-written by Robert Capelli Jr. (The Rules (for Men), Mail Order Bride) and Sophia Eptamentis (Invincible Summer, What Exit?), Deep Fear is produced Brilliant Pictures’ Sean O’Kelly (Marin Call, Iron Sky) and Marc Bikindou (Black Dahlia, Deception) together with Halo Pictures’ Engelbert Grech (The Raft, Heroes in the Sky) and Chris Bongirne (100 Feet, W.E., The Virtuoso).
Ghenea will play Naomi, an accomplished round-the-world yachtswoman who sets out on a solo trip to meet her boyfriend Jackson (Westwick) in Grenada. But her tranquil three-day sail aboard 47-foot yacht The Serenity takes an unexpectedly dark turn when a storm forces her off the plotted course.
Circumnavigating an uninhabited reef-fringed island, she responds to a distress signal to aid a sinking vessel where she finds three survivors clinging to the shattered remains of a boat. Events soon take a malevolent twist when it transpires the survivors are drug traffickers who force Naomi to dive down into the hull of the sunken wreck to retrieve 850 kilos of cocaine. The plan is thwarted when Naomi finds herself surrounded by a frenzy of man-eating tiger sharks – lured by the dead bodies in the wreck.
“This script presents the opportunity to create a truly original context for the genre,” said Adams. “The malevolent narcos characters juxtapose acutely with Naomi and Jackson, an earnest and honorable couple who are daring to live their dream of running a yacht chartering business in the West Indies. Essentially ordinary folk thrust into an extraordinary situation, Naomi and Jackson are forced to do combat with both the narcos and one of nature’s most awesome apex predators, creating a three-way battle that elicits tension and fear at every turn.”
Ghenea added: “I loved this character from the moment I read the script. Naomi is a fiercely confident, vibrant and highly accomplished young woman – it’s an honor to be playing such an empowering female lead role. I’ve had lots of fun completing a month of intensive diving training in preparation for the role and am super excited to start shooting alongside such a talented team.”
London- and Rome-based Brilliant Pictures is handling worldwide sales rights for Deep Fear.