The Rhode Island Film & TV Office announced today that prime-time Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) is directing Rebecca Banner’s acclaimed 2016 Black List screenplay Space Oddity in the Ocean State. The independent production stars Kyle Allen (West Side Story), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men franchise), and Madeline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale). This is the second feature film for director Sedgwick after Story of a Girl for which she received a Director’s Guild of America nomination. Principal photography commences this week in the historic towns of Wickford and North Kingstown.
Space Oddity tells the tale of Alex (Allen) who, after giving up on Earth and deciding to leave it all behind for a one-way mission to Mars, develops an unexpected romance with Daisy (Shipp), the enigmatic town newcomer, who forces him to choose between an uncertain journey to the stars and an even more uncertain journey of the heart.
This is the first feature Sedgwick and Valerie Stadler will be producing under their banner Big Swing Productions.
Director Kyra Sedgwick stated, “As soon as I read Space Oddity, I knew this was a film I had to direct. This family is so beautifully flawed, so perfectly human. The humor and the heart jumped off the page. We started Big Swing to tell just this kind of story – one that centers on hope but never shies away from the struggle that makes us all part of this fragile experiment on Earth. And there is no better place to film this story than in the beautiful state of Rhode Island. Shooting Space Oddity in Rhode Island is a breath of fresh air. Everyone from the Rhode Island Film office to the town of Wickford has welcomed us with open arms. We have a local crew that can’t be beat and the locations are magical. We couldn’t be more delighted for the opportunity to make our film here!”
Valerie Stadler will produce with Jack Greenbaum and Richard Arlook for the The Arlook Group and Mickey Schiff for Unique Features. Executive Producers are Bob Shaye, Ibrahim AlHusseini, JL Pomeroy, Brent Emery, Susan Cartonis, Suzanne Farwell and Anne Clements.
Governor Daniel J. McKee said, “It’s great to see a new movie being made in Rhode Island – especially one that showcases our beautiful state. With our unique landscape and talented local artists, Rhode Island is an ideal location for filmmakers. Every time a production shoots here we see a positive impact on our local businesses. This is the type of energy that keeps moving our economy forward.”
Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, remarked “We are excited to welcome Kyra, Valerie and their talented team of professionals to make Space Oddity. Rhode Island is fortunate because we have superb partners in both the public and private sectors, and we enjoy working together to build a positive environment for the creative economy to shine. We are particularly grateful to Big Swing Productions for providing good paying jobs for many local artists and hard-working technicians from across Rhode Island. As collaboration is key to the art of cinema, we look forward to helping Kyra, Valerie and the Space Oddity team produce movie magic here in the Ocean State!”
Speaker of the House K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-District 23, Warwick) commented “We welcome Kyra Sedgwick and her acclaimed cast to Rhode Island. Our historical towns are unique treasures and we are happy that the production team of Space Oddity has discovered them with the help of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office. The nostalgic beauty of Wickford and North Kingstown will be supporting characters alongside the talented actors and actresses who will be propelling this special production. I eagerly await the positive recognition and tourism that this production will bring to our state.”
Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-District 4, North Providence, Providence) said “Rhode Island has always been a unique and beautiful place to live and work. It is also ideally suited to the needs of the film and television industry. Our small, compact size makes us accessible both in terms of coordinating with state and local agencies and businesses, and in working at locations ranging from city streets and historic homes and mansions to the shore and peaceful woodlands. We warmly welcome Space Oddity to Rhode Island and greatly anticipate seeing our state grace the screen once again.”
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Executive Director Randall Rosenbaum said, “We are immensely proud that this important production is coming to Rhode Island, thanks to the hard work of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office. The towns of Wickford and North Kingstown offer idyllic landscapes, which will be captured on film and shared to audiences across the globe. This is another example where we can witness the expansion of American art as an economic and cultural force.”
Kyra Sedgwick starred and executive produced the TNT drama series The Closer, for which she received five Lead Actress Drama series Emmy nominations, winning in 2010. She’s an eight-time Golden Globe nominee, and won Best Actress in a TV series Drama for The Closer in 2007. She has also directed episodes of Ray Donovan, Grace and Frankie, City on a Hill, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Kyle Allen recently starred in Amazon’s The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, and will next be seen in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story for Amblin/20th Century Studios and Paramount’s The In Between. Other recent credits include FX’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse Now and Hulu’s The Path.
Alexandra Shipp stars as the female lead in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s upcoming Netflix movie Tick Tick Boom, opposite Andrew Garfield. Shipp is best known for her role as the iconic mohawked super heroine Storm in Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men franchise and her role in the critically acclaimed film Love, Simon. Other recent feature credits include Warner Bros.’ Shaft opposite Samuel L. Jackson, CBS Films’ Jexi opposite Adam Devine, and All the Bright Places alongside Elle Fanning.
In Space Oddity, Madeline Brewer will play Liz, Alex’s sister, who has reluctantly returned to the farm where she grew up. Brewer has played Janine Lindo on 33 episodes of Hulu/MGM’s multi-Emmy winning The Handmaid’s Tale, in addition to Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black as Tricia Miller. She also starred in the STX Jennifer Lopez-Constance Wu feature crime movie Hustlers. Brewer is a three-time Screen Actor’s Guild nominee in the Drama TV series ensemble category for Handmaid’s Tale.
The Rhode Island Film & TV Office is a government agency under the umbrella of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA)