Mel Gibson and Tye Sheridan to Star in Black List Thriller ‘Black Flies’

Jean-Stephane Sauvaire (“A Prayer Before Dawn”) to direct

Mel Gibson Tye Sheridan
Getty Images

Mel Gibson and “Ready Player One” star Tye Sheridan are in final negotiations to star in a thriller called “Black Flies,” the film’s international sales agent IMR International announced Friday ahead of Berlin’s European Film Market.

“Black Flies” is based on a novel by Shannon Burke and was adapted by Ryan King in a screenplay that landed on the 2018 Black List of the best unproduced scripts.

Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, who last directed A24’s “A Prayer Before Dawn,” will direct.

Mad River Pictures is financing and producing alongside Christopher Kopp, Lucan Toh & Babak Anvari, and Anthony Katagas. Sheridan will also be a producer on the film. Production is slated to begin in the second quarter of 2019. CAA and WME are handling U.S. rights for the film, and IMR International will begin foreign sales in Berlin next week.

“Black Flies” is the story of a young paramedic, Ollie Cross (Sheridan), navigating his first year on the job. He’s partnered with Rutkovsky (Gibson), an experienced medic who thrusts Ollie into the harsh realities of New York’s inner-city streets.  Amidst high crime rates, homelessness, and widespread drug use, Ollie finds his perspective on life and death beginning to shift.

Gibson and Sauvaire are represented by CAA. Sauvaire is also repped by Grandview. Sheridan is repped by WME. Ryan King  is repped by UTA and Heroes and Villains Entertainment. Two & Two Pictures is repped by WME and Grandview, and Shannon Burke is repped by Paradigm.

IMR International just sold the Sundance film “The Report” to Amazon in an eight-figure sale. And Two &Two Pictures just premiered “Wounds” at this year’s Sundance.