Troy Kotsur To Lead Cast Of Johannes Roberts Horror Feature ‘Primate’ From Walter Hamada

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has greenlit the Johannes Roberts horror film Primate, with Oscar winner Troy Kotsur (CODA) set to lead the cast. Roberts will direct the Walter Hamada-produced feature, which Roberts co-wrote with Ernest Riera.

Plot details are being kept under wraps.

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The project falls under Hamada’s exclusive first-look deal with Paramount which began January 1, 2023, making him “the architect of Paramount’s mainstream horror genre pod, with the mission to release several low- to mid-budget films per year across theatrical and streaming.”

The former DC Films boss steered DC to its highest-grossing movie Aquaman with $1.1 billion worldwide. He was also behind The Conjuring franchise, the highest-grossing horror series ever with more than $2 billion in global box office, 2017’s It and Matt Reeves’ The Batman, to name a few.

Hamada is producing via his 18hz production company alongside Bradley Pilz and John Hodges. Up next, Paramount and Hamada are developing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, a live-action film based on the fan graphic novel of the same name.

Roberts recently directed Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City for Sony Pictures and Constantin, based on the Capcom game franchise, which he also adapted. Next, he is set to direct Border Patrol at Screen Gems with Atomic Monster producing, and Flight at Paramount with Weed Road and James Harris producing. Roberts previously directed 47 Meters Down, which was one of the highest-grossing indie films of 2017; Strangers: Prey At Night; as well as 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. He also directed a segment of V/H/S/99, which premiered at TIFF.

He is represented by CAA, Gotham Group and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols.

Kotsur earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Frank, the deaf fisherman father of a hearing daughter who wants to be a singer, in director Sian Heder’s CODA (2021). He is the first deaf male actor and only the second deaf actor overall to win the Oscar, after his CODA co-star Marlee Matlin for her role in Children of a Lesser God (1986.) Kotsur also earned BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, Gotham, Independent Spirit and Screen Actors Guild awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance.

His other recent film credits include Wild Prairie Rose (2016); No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie (2013), which he also directed; Universal Signs (2008); and The Number 23 (2007). Recent TV credits include HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, for which he created the Tusken sign language that was also used in the show’s spinoff series The Book of Boba Fett.

Up next, Kotsur will appear in Season 3 of the Apple TV+ series Foundation and is currently in production on Netflix’s limited series Black Rabbit. He is repped by Metric Talent, IAG and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.

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