CULVER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amazon Studios started principal photography on visionary director Mike Cahill’s (I Origins, Another Earth) Bliss this week in Los Angeles and Croatia. Academy Award nominees Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson are set to star in this sci-fi drama also written by Cahill. Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern is producing, with the company’s Lucas Smith serving as executive producer. Marsha Swinton (Hala) will also executive produce.
A mind-bending love story… Recently divorced Greg (Wilson) whose life is falling apart meets the enchanting Isabel (Hayek), a woman who lives on the streets and is convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is not real. She believes they are living in an ugly, harsh world simulation inside of the beautiful, peaceful “real" world of bliss. Doubtful at first, Greg eventually discovers there may be some truth to Isabel’s wild conspiracy theory.
Ted Hope, Co-Head of Movies at Amazon Studios, said, “Mike Cahill is a brilliant storyteller gifted by a unique ability to craft the truly high-concept idea in a deeply soulful way that resonates with audiences. As a real fan of all his work, I am delighted that we can provide this opportunity for him to take his vision further than ever before. We know our global customers will be excited to see what Mike and his team -- Salma Hayek, Owen Wilson, and this fabulous cast and crew -- can do with such complex, yet real characters in such an imaginative and thrilling world. It will blow people’s minds, I am sure.”
Cahill said, “Working with this brilliant cast is a dream come true. Working with my dear friend and producer extraordinaire Jim Stern is a gift. And we couldn’t be more thrilled to be making this with Amazon Studios. As the industry continues to evolve, Amazon proves to be taking the most exciting risks on films with ambitious artistic goals that also aim to reach wide audiences. I feel so grateful to have our film Bliss included among their next round of groundbreaking works.”
“It is an incredible opportunity to be working with a visionary like Mike Cahill,” said Stern. “We pride ourselves at Endgame on working with filmmakers with a passion for storytelling and connecting with global audiences, and are looking forward to sharing Bliss with the world.”
Director of photography is Markus Förderer (Skyscraper, I Origins), and the editor is Troy Takaki (I Origins, Almost Christmas). Production design is by Kasra Farahani (Captain Marvel, Black Panther), with costumes from Annie Bloom (No Escape, Surrogates).
Cahill is most known for his films Another Earth and I Origins which were released by Fox Searchlight. Both films won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the Sundance Film Festival where they premiered. He also directed the pilots of The Magicians, The Path, and Rise.
Hayek will next star alongside Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne in Paramount’s comedy Limited Partners which will be released in January 2020. She was most recently seen in The Hummingbird Project with Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård starring as well as in the critically-acclaimed, Beatriz at Dinner, in which she starred as the title character for director Miguel Arteta and writer Mike White. Hayek recently wrapped production on the HanWay/Bleeker Street Untitled Sally Potter drama with Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning, and Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard where she reprises her role as Sonia Kincaid opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds. Other notable projects include Lionsgate/Pantelion comedy How to be a Latin Lover, alongside Eugenio Derbez, Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell, and the action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard with Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds.
Wilson most recently starred in the adaptation of Raquel J. Palacio’s novel Wonder, alongside Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay. He was also featured in Lawrence Sher’s Father Figures alongside Ed Helms, Christopher Walken, J.K. Simmons, and Glenn Close. Wilson’s string of box office successes also include Little Fockers, the third installment of the blockbuster Fockers series, opposite Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro; Marley & Me with Jennifer Aniston; the Night At The Museum franchise opposite Robin Williams and Ben Stiller; the smash hit comedy Wedding Crashers, opposite Vince Vaughn; the romantic comedy You, Me And Dupree; and as the voice of Lightning McQueen in Disney’s Cars, Cars 2 and Cars 3. Wilson was also featured in the 2014 Oscar nominated film Inherent Vice. Wilson has collaborated with director Wes Anderson seven times, including The Darjeeling Limited, the Academy Award nominated The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, co-starring Bill Murray and Anjelica Huston; The Royal Tenenbaums, for which he and Anderson were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay; Rushmore, which Wilson co-wrote and co-executive produced; and Anderson’s directorial debut, Bottle Rocket, which Wilson starred in and co-wrote. Wilson also lent his voice to Anderson’s Academy Award-nominated animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Producer James Stern is a long-time entertainment producer and director, produced more than 30 films, over 20 Broadway shows, and various other entertainment properties. In 2002, Stern founded Endgame Entertainment. His most recent productions include Netflix’s Murder Mystery, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, Fox Searchlight’s The Old Man and the Gun, directed by David Lowery starring Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck, and Sony Classic’s political documentary, American Chaos, which Stern produced and directed. Past credits include Rian Johnson’s international hit Looper, Oliver Stone’s Snowden, Lone Scherfig’s An Education, Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There and Hotel Rwanda. Additionally, Stern is a two-time Tony Award-winning producer (The Producers, Hairspray).
Cahill is repped by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern, Hayek is represented by CAA, Evelyn O'Neill at Management 360 and attorney Bill Sobel at Laird & Sobel, and Wilson is repped by UTA.
About Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios brings bold and innovative series and films from top tier and up-and-coming creators to customers in over 200 countries and territories. Original productions range from daring and timely subject matter such as Amy Sherman-Palladino’s award-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to the action-packed Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and critically hailed The Man in the High Castle. In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and for streaming exclusively to Amazon Prime members. At the 2017 Academy Awards, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for Manchester by the Sea (Best Screenplay, Kenneth Lonergan and Best Actor, Casey Affleck) and The Salesman (Best Foreign Film). At the 2019 Oscars, Cold War was nominated for Foreign Language, Director and Cinematography. Upcoming 2019 movie titles include Nisha Ganatra’s Late Night, Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Brittany Runs a Marathon, Scott Z. Burns’ The Report, Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy, Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts, Benedict Andrews’ Against All Enemies and more.