Sunflower Starring Jurnee Smollett Starts December Filming in Winnipeg

The filming of Jurnee Smollett-starrer ‘Sunflower’ is scheduled to begin in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in December. The thriller film follows “two women who struggle to escape from a college professor who holds them hostage on a prison-like sunflower farm,” as per the official logline. Despite the filming plan in place, the same can be affected by the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, specifically since the production hasn’t received a waiver from the union.

Winnipeg, where the shoot is set to commence, is the capital of the province of Manitoba. The city is known for its historic neighborhoods, modern architecture, natural landscapes, and unique industrial spaces, which make it an ideal location for filming diverse projects. Winnipeg has earlier hosted the filming of ‘Nobody,’ ‘Orphan: First Kill,’ ‘Violent Night,’ ‘The Italian Job,’ ‘Silent Hill,’ and ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth.’

The film is helmed by Misha Green, who makes her feature film directorial debut after working on several popular television shows like ‘Lovecraft Country,’ ‘Spartacus’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ Green also penned the screenplay. “‘Sunflower’ was the first script I sold when I landed in Hollywood, and now having the opportunity to make it my first feature directorial outing feels like kismet,” the director said in a statement during the announcement of the film earlier this year.

The movie marks the third collaboration of Green with actress Smollett after WGN’s period drama ‘Underground’ and HBO’s horror series ‘Lovecraft Country.’ The latter earned 18 nominations at the 2021 Emmy Awards, including nods for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Smollett and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for Green, winning two. Smollett is also known for her appearances in ‘Birds of Prey,’ ‘Lou,’ ‘The Great Debaters,’ and ‘Spiderhead.’ The film also stars Isabel May, known for her roles in ‘1883,’ ‘Alexa & Katie,’ ‘Young Sheldon,’ and ‘I Want You Back.’

The film is produced by Lionsgate with Meredith Wieck and Aaron Edmonds overseeing the production. Green serves as a producer along with Craig J. Flores (‘Fathers & Daughters,’ ‘Keep Watching,’ and ‘Crawl’). Nathan Kahane, the President of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, released a statement during the film’s announcement revealing that it is a unique and thrilling story.

“Everyone at our studio was completely drawn in by the way Misha, Jurnee, and the ‘Lovecraft Country’ team worked so confidently to create a compelling genre series – then subverted the genre and reinvented it through a new lens. That’s the opportunity with ‘Sunflower.’ The screenplay is unique, thrilling, and flat-out scary. It’s going to make a hell of a movie,” Kahane stated. Green also thanked the studio for backing the film and added, “I couldn’t have hoped for better partners and collaborators than Nathan, the Lionsgate team, Craig, and Jurnee to help me shepherd it to the big screen.”

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