British actress Ella Balinska, who gained recognition for her starring role opposite Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott in the 2019 Charlie's Angels reboot, has landed the lead role in sci-fi thriller The Occupant.
Balinska will play Abby, a young woman on a desperate quest to save her sister who finds herself stranded alone in the icy Russian wilderness... until she is confronted by a mysterious stranger. Dealing with themes of perception, manipulation, loss of loved ones and survival, The Occupant ultimate challenges the viewer with one question: How much would you be willing to sacrifice in order to survive?
Co-written and set to be directed by Hugo Keijzer, The Occupant is a feature-length expansion of Keijzer's acclaimed 2019 short film of the same name, which screened at festivals including Fantasia, Sitges and Bifan. This will be the director's debut feature film, with the short film functioning as a prologue.
The Dutch filmmaker explained that “The Occupant is both a visceral survival story and a gripping journey into the unknown, which will be an immense challenge both physically and mentally for our lead actress. I’m thrilled to be working with Ella on this. She embraces the unique challenges that come with this project and she’s not afraid to reveal her most vulnerable side. I believe she has all the makings of a superstar.”
Having trained at the Academy of Performance Combat and considering her background competing in track and field events, there's little doubt that Balinska is a rising action star. Fans will get to see more of her talents when she stars in Netflix's upcoming horror series Resident Evil, a live-action adaptation of the popular video games series. The project is currently in pre-production.