EXCLUSIVE: Tubi has begun principal photography on dark western thriller The Thicket, based on Joe R. Lansdale’s novel of the same name, starring and produced by Game of Thrones alum Peter Dinklage. Production is underway in Calgary, Canada.
A longtime passion project for Dinklage, The Thicket also stars Juliette Lewis (Yellowjackets), Esmé Creed-Miles (Hanna), Levon Hawke (The Crowded Room), Leslie Grace (In The Heights), Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Old Man), Macon Blair (I Care A Lot), James Hetfield (Metallica), Ned Dennehy (Peaky Blinders), Andrew Schulz (Infamous), and Arliss Howard (Mank).
Set at the turn-of-the-century, The Thicket follows an innocent young man, Jack (Hawke), who goes on an epic quest to rescue his sister Lula (Creed-Miles) after she has been kidnapped by the violent killer Cut Throat Bill (Lewis) and her gang. To save her, Jack enlists the help of a crafty bounty hunter named Reginald Jones (Dinklage), a grave-digging alcoholic son of an ex-slave (Akinnagbe), and a street-smart prostitute (Grace). The gang tracks Cut Throat Bill into the deadly no-man’s land known as The Big Thicket — a place where blood and chaos reign.
Playwright Christopher Kelly will pen the adaptation, and Elliott Lester (Nightingale) directs and produces, with Guillermo Garza (Don’t Tell a Soul) serving as DP and Ray Suen (Childish Gambino, Lorde) composing the score.
Dinklage has been attached to a feature adaptation of The Thicket for a decade. In February 2020, he was set to lead a different cast for The Thicket movie from the same producers, which was in pre-production. Like many projects gearing for production at that time, the movie was impacted by Covid, which reached pandemic levels just a couple of weeks later.
Lansdale’s novel, The Thicket, was selected by the Library Journal as one of the best historical fiction books the year it was published, in 2013.
“As Tubi deepens its commitment to a wide range of genres, we are incredibly excited to begin production on The Thicket, which has been a passion project for so many involved,” said Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer, Tubi. “This elevated western thriller led by Peter Dinklage and an exceptionally talented team of artists delivers on genre expectations while adding so much more to make the journey into The Thicket unique and mesmerizing.”
“I’m so very excited to bring Joe Lansdale’s riveting story to the screen,” said Dinklage. “A journey into the heart of darkness to find love and return it to its rightful place.”
The Thicket is produced by Tubi Films, Dinklage and David Ginsberg of Estuary Films, as well as Chad Oakes and Mike Frislev of Nomadic Pictures, Gianni Nunnari of Hollywood Gang, and Andre L III of MiLu Entertainment. Caddy Vanasirikul and Brian O’Shea are also producing via The Exchange, which holds international distribution rights, with Tubi holding rights in the U.S. and Canada.
Dinklage is repped by CAA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Lewis is repped by Untitled Entertainment and UTA. Creed-Miles is repped by Omni Artists Ltd, WME, Conway van Gelder Grant Ltd., Sloane Offer Weber & Dern LLP. Hawke is repped by CAA. Grace is repped by 641 Meridian Entertainment Management Group and CAA. Akinnagbe is repped by APA and Untitled Entertainment. Blair is repped by Anonymous Content and Cohen & Gardner. Dennehy is repped by Curtis Brown. Schulz is repped by CAA, Dov Mamann and Yorn Levine. Howard is repped by Innovative Artists. Lester is repped by Grandview and The Nord Group.