Frankie Muniz & Violett Beane To Topline Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Renner’ From Director Robert Rippberger

EXCLUSIVE: Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) and Violett Beane (The Flash) have signed on to star in Renner, a new sci-fi thriller from filmmaker Robert Rippberger (Those Who Walk Away). Production will kick off this summer at the newly formed Ascent Studios in Spring Hope, NC, where Rippberger is a founding partner.

Written by Martin Medina and David Largman Murray, from a story by Luke Medina, Renner follows a computer genius of the same name, played by Muniz, as he looks to court his neighbor Jamie (Beane) with the help of an AI he develops named Salenus — only to realize, a bit too late, that he accidentally programmed his manipulative mother into it.

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Rippberger will produce alongside Martin Medina, KT Kent, Devin Keaton, and Jay Burnley of Slated. Exec producers are Greg Gertmenian, Ali Baghdadi, Kyle Pritchard, Stan Hahnel, LeaAnne Hahnel, Anita Konka, Laura Winstead, Nathan Edwards, and Neuman Vong.

Said Rippberger in a statement to Deadline, “I was immediately attracted to the powerful, unnerving, and darkly freudian script from Martin Medina and Luke Medina. I am thrilled to be working with Frankie and Violett to bring Renner to the big screen for what will be a fresh A.I. thriller.”

An Emmy and two-time Golden Globe nominee perhaps best known for his seven-season run as the star of Fox’s sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, Muniz most recently appeared on Comedy Central’s Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens and has also been seen on shows like New Amsterdam, The Rookie and Preacher, among many others. Among his best known credits on the film side are three popular titles from the early 2000s: Agent Cody Banks, My Dog Skip and Big Fat Liar. Also coming up for the actor, who now also works as a race car driver, is Universal 1440’s Half Baked 2.

One of the leads of CBS’ dramedy God Friended Me, which ran for two seasons, Beane is otherwise best known on the TV side for her role as DC Comics superhero Jesse Quick in The CW’s The Flash, having also recurred on HBO’s The Leftovers and Fox’s The Resident. She also starred in Uni and Blumhouse’s horror thriller Truth or Dare, which grossed over $95M worldwide, and will next be seen starring opposite Mandy Patinkin in Hulu’s series Career Opportunities in Murder & Mayhem from ABC Signature.

Rippberger most recently directed the Booboo Stewart-led horror-thriller Those Who Walk Away, as well the award-winning drama Strive starring Danny Glover. He is also lead producer on the upcoming stop-motion animated film The Inventor from Ratatouille‘s Jim Capobianco, which stars Daisy Ridley, Stephen Fry, Marion Cotillard and Matt Berry. Rippberger and partners Devin Keaton and Nathan Edwards broke ground on Ascent Studios, the soon-to-be largest film studio in North Carolina, earlier this year.

Muniz is repped by APA, Established Artists and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Beane by Gersh, Venture Entertainment Partners and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.

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