Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye is set to make his feature acting debut, teaming with Waves helmer Trey Edward Shults on an untitled film that also stars Jenna Ortega and Barry Keoghan.
Plot details are being kept under wraps with the pic currently in production.
Shults will direct from a script he co-wrote with Tesfaye and his producing partner Reza Fahim. Tesfaye, Fahim, Kevin Turen and Harrison Kreiss are producing with Shultz and Ortega exec producing.
Shults and Tesfaye have been working secretly on the film for months, with Ortega and Keoghan signing on after being blown away by the script. Ortega and Keoghan have been two of the more sought-after talents in town, with the each sorting through several offers.
Besides landing Ortega and Keoghan, Shults and Tesfaye also have assembled a below-the-line team that includes director of photography Chayse Irvin (Blonde). Composer and producer OPN, aka Daniel Lopatin (Good Time, Uncut Gems), is scoring the film alongside The Weeknd.
While this marks Tesfaye’s feature acting debut, the Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated musician is set to star in HBO’s The Idol, which he also co-created with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. Fahim also is a co-creator on the series.
Ortega has been on a roll as of late, led by her record-breaking Addams Family series, Wednesday. The show has smashed Netflix viewing records and has been renewed for a second season. She hosts Saturday Night Live on March 11 and next will be seen in Scream VI.
Keoghan is coming off his Oscar-nominated supporting role in Searchlight’s The Banshees of Inisherin, which earned him a BAFTA win last week. He stars next in Saltburn, Emerald Fennell’s follow-up to her Oscar-winning Promising Young Woman.
Shults is best known for his acclaimed work on Waves and It Comes at Night.
Tesfaye is represented by CAA, Manager Wassim “Sal” Slaiby & Amir “Cash” Esmailian and attorney Kenny Meiselas of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks. Ortega is repped by CAA, Gilbertson Entertainment and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Keoghan is with WME, Entertainment 360, B-Side Management and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern. Shults is represented by WME and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.