“Star Trek” star Zachary Quinto and “Euphoria” actor Jacob Elordi will star together in “He Went That Way,” a road trip crime thriller that’s set in the ’60s and is based on a true story.
Jeffrey Darling, a commercial director, will make his feature film directorial debut, and Mister Smith Entertainment is handling worldwide sales of the film to buyers at the Cannes Film Market.
Set in 1964, “He Went That Way” is based on the true story of a strange road trip that involves a serial killer, an animal handler and a TV chimpanzee star named Zippy. The film is inspired by how animal trainer Dave Pitts and the famous TV chimp Spanky, who was the centerpiece of The Ice Capades in the ’60s, had a fateful three-day encounter with serial killer Larry Lee Ranes. Quinto will play the animal trainer, and Elordi will take on the role of the serial killer.
The film is inspired by Conrad Hilberry’s book “Luke Karamazov” and the real life account from Dave Pitts, the sole survivor of Larry’s killing spree. Evan M. Wiener wrote the script.
The filmmakers plan to create the character Zippy the chimp using a mix of a suited character actor and animatronics created by Legacy Effects, which has worked on “The Shape of Water,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and many more.
Producing the film are Marc Benardout, James Harris and Mark Lane of Teashop Productions, Hugh Broder and Jeremy Kotin with Phil Hunt of Head Gear Films. Bohemia Media is executive producing. Production hopes to begin this fall in California.
“’He Went That Way’ is undoubtedly a journey of curious tensions and bonds between two and at times three interesting characters all on their own path. A cinematic tale on the road across the US in the early 60’s where people come with a rawness forged from the landscapes they inhabit,” Darling said in a statement. “It is for our two leads Jacob and Zachary as well as myself, a great opportunity to explore with an improvised sensibility.”
“The screenplay is a heady mix of menacing, funny and emotional and, with Jeffrey’s incomparable visual genius, we anticipate this will be a unique and darkly thrilling road trip experience for audiences around the world,” Mister Smith Entertainment’s David Garrett said.
Zachary Quinto most recently starred in “The Boys In the Band.” He’s represented by WME and Untitled Management.
Jacob Elordi is also known for “The Kissing Booth” franchise and will next star in the sci-fi feature “Parallel.” He is represented by Gersh, Fourward, Nicky Gluyas Management, Viewpoint and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP.
Deadline first reported the news.