Genre Banner Stoked Film Group Launches

‘Dig,’ starring Emile Hirsch, and ‘Slayers’, which is led by Abigail Breslin and Malin Akerman, are the first films on Stoked’s slate.

Former NBA player Jarnell Stokes, director K. Asher Levin and producer Daniel Cummings have come together to launch production company Stoked Film Group.

The company will focus on genre projects in the $3 million to $5 million range, setting an initial slate of features that includes the already-announced Dig, starring Emile Hirsch, and Slayers, which is led by Abigail Breslin, Thomas Jane and Malin Akerman.

Dig, which is currently in postproduction, follows a widowed father and his daughter whose house is up for demolition and are taken hostage by a dangerous couple who won’t stop until they retrieve what lies beneath the property.

Slayers follows a group of superstar influencers drawn to a reclusive billionaire’s mansion, only to find themselves trapped in the lair of an evil vampire. It was recently announced that worldwide rights were picked up by Highland Film Group, which will introduce the project to international buyers at AFM, while Highland’s distribution arm, The Avenue, will handle a domestic release, targeting a 2022 U.S. release.

Both films were directed by Levin, who will also helm Stoked’s next feature, Helen’s Dead, which follows an aimless 20-something who, upon discovering that her boyfriend is sleeping with her cousin Helen, shows up at a dinner party to confront her boyfriend and cousin, only to discover that Helen is dead and everybody is a suspect.

Helen’s Dead is currently casting with principal photography slated to begin in December.

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“There is a substantial market for original, elevated content geared toward a genre audience and Stoked Film Group is a company created to provide just that,” said Stokes, with Levin offering, “These types of projects have been a passion of mine my whole life and we’ve aligned on our vision for Stoked to produce unique and original genre films.”

Added Cummings, “Our production model is a perfect entry point for upcoming and underrepresented voices to make the projects they want the way they want to. The diverse backgrounds of Jarnell, Asher and I allow us to connect with a wide range of artists and audiences.”

Ice Cube departs ‘Oh Hell No’ film after declining COVID-19 vaccine

The rapper and actor was set to star opposite Jack Black in the comedy film

Ice Cube has reportedly exited comedy Oh Hell No after refusing to get vaccinated at the request of producers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cube left behind a $9million payday by departing the film. Producers on Oh Hell No had requested that cast members would need to be vaccinated for the project.

Cube partnered with Jack Black, who also serves as a producer, on the film in June, with filming scheduled to take place in winter in Hawaii with director Kitao Sakurai (Bad Trip).

Following Cube’s exit, it’s claimed production has been pushed back until the studio finds a replacement. Black, despite injuring himself in June while filming on the Conan show, is still attached to the project.

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