Willem Dafoe And Emily Watson To Star in A24’s ‘The Legend Of Ochi’ – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: A24 has has assembled an all-star cast including Academy-Award Nominee Willem Dafoe, Academy-Award nominee Emily Watson, Finn Wolfhard, and Golden Globe Nominee Helena Zengel for Isaiah Saxon’s fantasy epic The Legend of Ochi. The film will mark Saxon’s debut feature and is based on his original characters, world and screenplay.

The Legend of Ochi follows a young girl (Zengel) who runs away from home and learns to communicate with an elusive animal species known as OCHI. The film will include an original score by composer and Dirty Projectors founder Dave Longstreth, a frequent collaborator of Encyclopedia Pictura.

Co-founder of visionary animation and film studio Encyclopedia Pictura, Saxon has directed music videos and projects for Björk, Panda Bear, Dirty Projectors, Kanye West, and Grizzly Bear. Encyclopedia Pictura are currently developing an animated series at Apple. Their animated pilot for Cartoon Network, DIY, is based on the online community they co-founded, DIY.org, a platform for kids to learn practical skills.

Saxon and Encyclopedia Pictura will produce along with Traci Carlson and Richard Peete for Neighborhood Watch and Jonathan Wang with Year of the Rat. The Russo Brothers, Mike Larocca and Angela Russo-Otstot of AGBO will executive produce, along with Louise Lovegrove and Alex Plapinger. A24 will finance and handle worldwide releasing.

A24 is best known for their adult fare and while this isn’t a straight-forward family feature, the project would mark their first foray into the genre with tones and themes of what fans of A24 films have been accustom to. Insiders say its a throwback to old school pre-Lord of Rings Peter Jackson pics and sources add how blown away execs were by the world Saxon had created that A24 jumped at the chance of working with him. A24 is known for taking big bets on first time filmmakers like they did with Ari Aster on Hereditary as well as maintaining that relationship long after. Aster is currently filming his third feature with the studio and the hope is the same with A24 and Saxon here.

Saxon is repped by Verve, 2AM and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman L.L.P. Dafoe is represented by CAA and Circle of Confusion. Zengelis represented by CAA and Artists Partnership. Watson is represented by UTA, Independent Talent in the UK, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP. Wolfhard is represented by CAA, Velocity Entertainment Partners and Jackoway Austen.

AGBO is also currently working with A24 and producer Jonathan Wang on the 2022 release Everything Everywhere All at Once, from filmmaker duo DANIELS.

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