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Alexandre Aja has been confirmed to direct the slightly confusingly-titled O2 for Netflix. The survival thriller, which is presumably not linked to the mobile phone network of the same name, will be shot in the French language, and is currently expected to arrive on Netflix in mid-2021. Production has now started for the feature, a positive sign given the recent COVID-19 delays to the entertainment industry.
O2 will star Mélanie Laurent, best known for turns in Inglourious Basterds and 6 Underground, as well as the repeatedly-delayed Tenet, as a woman who wakes up in a medical cryo unit without her memory. The character then has to piece together her memories in order to escape the chamber before her oxygen runs out. Aja was originally set only to produce, with Franck Khalfoun of Maniac directing, but he’s now taken over directorial responsibilities as well.
Furthermore, Laurent’s role was reportedly first linked to Noomi Rapace, with the fresh start coming after Christie LeBlanc’s script was lifted from the Black List, a collection of highly-rated but unproduced screenplays. Malik Zidi and Mathieu Amalric are also joining the cast for O2, which is the first major release from Getaway Films, a project by Wild Bunch co-founders Brahim Chioua and Vincent Maraval, as well as Noémie Devide.
The filmmaker had this to say about his involvement in O2:
“After a period spent in lockdown, a project which in its core explores confinement and claustrophobia was a no-brainer, almost a necessity. I am very enthusiastic to collaborate with Wild Bunch and Melanie Laurent and to begin a beautiful creative adventure with Netflix.”
Given Aja’s pedigree, we have high hopes that O2 will continue his recent success and bolster Netflix’s reputation for quality horror movies. That Aja is returning to the French language for this one also shows the ambition of Getaway Films, who are primarily focused on producing French genre pictures for Wild Bunch distribution.