A24 has gathered a starry ensemble for Isaiah Saxon’s fantasy epic The Legend of Ochi. Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Finn Wolfhard and Helena Zengel have all been attached to the project. This will be Saxon’s debut feature and his screenplay will be based on his own original character and world-building concepts.
According to Deadline, The Legend of Ochi follows a young girl (played by Zengel) who runs away from home and learns to communicate with an elusive animal species known as Ochi. German actress Helena Zengel has already delivered two hugely impressive performances for her tender age – in 2019’s System Crasher (available on Netflix) and 2020’s The News of the World (starring Tom Hanks).
While A24 isn’t well-known for its fantasy movies, it did release David Lowery’s The Green Knight this year. What A24 is known for, however, is discovering and developing new talent, such as Ari Aster and Robert Eggers. It looks like the production company wants to do the same with Saxon.
Isaiah Saxon is the co-founder of animation and film studio Encyclopedia Pictura, which has made music videos and is developing animated series for Apple and Cartoon Network.
Although the main character is a young girl, The Legend of Ochi is unlikely to be a family-friendly fantasy film, given A24’s track record. Insiders have cited Peter Jackson’s pre-Lord of the Rings films as a comparison. Given that these include such titles as Bad Taste, Dead Alive and The Frighteners – who knows what we are in for.
Willem Dafoe is currently working on The Northman for Robert Eggers – but not for A24. Finn Wolfhard will next be seen in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Emily Watson is currently filming Midas Man – a film about The Beatles’ manger Brian Epstein.