Malcolm McDowell, Jacob Ward to Lead ‘Summerhouse’

Bob Yari’s startup mini-major Magenta Light Studios has found its first in-house film production in “Summerhouse,” a period drama set against the anxiety of the Vietnam War.

“Bombshell” and “Halloween” star Malcolm McDowell will lead the project with Jacob Ward, an up-and-comer who made his debut in Ray Romano’s 2022 film “Somewhere in Queens.” Ed Kaplan (“2 Graves in the Desert”) will write the script and direct, with Shelly Jonson (“Greyhound,” “Captain America: The First Avenger”) as director of photography.

Production will begin in Connecticut this month. Moonstone Entertainment will represent the international sales, previewing for buyers out of Cannes’ Marche du Film.

“Summerhouse” follows college grad Ned Stern (Ward) awaiting his draft into the Vietnam War. Ned spends his last summer of freedom caring for a belligerent wealthy alcoholic man (McDowell) at his lakeside mansion, only to find himself falling in love with a free-spirited and wild girl while questioning his commitment to his country.

“We are thrilled to announce Magenta Light Studios’ first production with ‘Summerhouse,’ Yari said. “Our focus on thoughtful storytelling is an important building block in our strategy and growth for the company. We were charmed by Ed Kaplan’s script and look forward to bringing his vision to life with the talented Malcolm McDowell and Jacob Ward onscreen.”

Yari and Amanda Harvey will produce the film for Magenta Light, with Jonathan M. Black and Michael Shapiro. The company recently acquired “Strange Darling,” an innovative genre title from director JT Mollner, starring Willa Fitzgerald and Kyle Gallner. That hits theaters this August.

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