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Hailee Steinfeld, last seen in Pitch Perfect 2, is now looking to gear up for Mandalay Pictures’ sci-fi drama IO. Sources confirm that Steinfeld is in advanced talks to take over the lead role, a part previously occupied by Elle Fanning. Diego Luna and Fanning were attached to the project this past January, though now both have since fallen off.
The character-driven film, which is slated to shoot in January of 2016, was born out of the Sundance Institute’s Writer’s Lab and Sundance Catalyst Forum. Clay Jeter penned the script, along with Will Basanta and Charles Spano.
Jason Michael Berman and Laura Rister are leading the charge with this one, producing for Mandalay and Untitled Entertainment, respectively. Caroline Connor, Raphael Swann, Victor Shapiro, Matt Lindner, Ryan Lough and Ryan Zacarias are also serving in producing capacities.
IO is a coming-of-age drama that examines the dangerous relationship that humanity has with the planet Earth. Set in a future where the now cataclysmic Earth has been almost completely abandoned, the story centers on Sam (Steinfeld), a teen surviving as one of the last of the Earth’s inhabitants. The tenacious Sam races to find a cure for the dying planet before she’s left stranded after the last shuttle leaves for a distant human space colony. Sam meets up with a mysterious rogue on the way to the shuttle, who forces her to question if the Earth is beyond healing.
Ever since her breakout role in the Coen Bros.’ True Grit, Steinfeld has enjoyed a slew of high-profile roles ranging from Summit’s Ender’s Game adaptation to Ethan Hawke’s 10,000 Saints. She most recently had a turn in the second entry of Universal’s mega-popular Pitch Perfect series and in Daniel Barber’s The Keeping Room, which premiered last month at TIFF. Steinfeld also appeared in Taylor Swift’s hugely successful “Bad Blood” music video.
Steinfeld is coming back for an encore performance in Pitch Perfect 3 and just wrapped on another Universal project – the Vince Vaughn-led crime drama Term Life. The rising star is also in preproduction on STX’s Besties, which co-stars Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick.
Steinfeld is repped by CAA.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor