EXCLUSIVE: The shocking success of Squid Game has created an appetite for survival projects. Tristar Pictures just preemptively acquired Ultra, a survival thriller spec script by Colin Bannon. Sugar 23’s Sukee Chew is producing.
They are keeping the details under wraps, and Bannon wrote this well before Squid Game. But sources tell me that the protagonist is an ultra marathon runner involved in a deadly race. Bannon is fast becoming the go-to writer for survival thriller/horror projects, having previously sold his Black List script First Ascent to Netflix in a frenzied bidding war. Jake Scott is directing. The plan is to put Ultra into production by the middle of next year.
Chew most recently joined Sugar23 and before that she founded Hopscotch Pictures. Her other projects include the Helen Keller drama Helen & Teacher written by Laetitia Mikles and Wash Westmoreland with Millie Simmonds and Rachel Brosnahan starring, and Westmoreland set to direct. She also set the thrillers Dead of Winter, by Sarah Conradt, set up at Netflix, with Mike Gan directing, and Lost Sun, a spec by Peter Barnes she set up at MGM.
Ultra will be shepherded by TriStar’s Caellum Allan.
Bannon is repped by Verve, Sugar23, and Leslie Abell APC.