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The Daily Wire announced Wednesday that it has wrapped production on its first original film, a suspense thriller from director DJ Caruso (“Disturbia,” “xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage”) that will release exclusively to subscribers in January 2022, with an international launch to come later.
Titled “Shut In,” the movie stars Rainey Qualley, who previously appeared in “Ocean’s 8” and “Mad Men,” as a young, single mother who struggles with drug addiction while fighting to escape the violent ex holding her and her two children captive.
Leading Hollywood trade publication, Deadline, called it “a coup” for the conservative media company to score a project with Caruso for its first original film. And Outkick’s Bobby Burack tweeted, “Congrats to The Daily Wire. The company is making — not talking about making — a difference.”
Producer Dallas Sonnier (“Bone Tomahawk”) first discovered the screenplay by Melanie Toast on the Black List website, and originally placed it with New Line Cinema, with Jason Bateman attached to direct. But after that project fell apart in pre-production, he opted to take it to Daily Wire co-founders Ben Shapiro, Jeremy Boreing, and Caleb Robinson, who signed on to executive produce the movie.
Calling it a brilliant script, Caruso said he was excited to direct a “fiercely independent film that “seeped into [his] creative DNA” when he first read it in 2019. Caruso also expressed gratitude for the artistic liberty he’s experienced with The Daily Wire, saying, “I was given the creative freedom to craft a film that features a flawed, but graceful character that must fight addiction, and dire circumstances to find light in a very dark place.”
“Shut In” marks the third collaboration between the conservative media company and Bonfire Legend’s Sonnier and Amanda Presmyk. Their first project together (and The Daily Wire’s first release) — Kyle Rankin’s “Run Hide Fight”— scored 300,000 viewers during its live premiere in January 2021 and a 93% positive audience rating on the review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes.
It’s just the latest entry project in a slate of film and TV productions The Daily Wire’s new entertainment division is developing.
Earlier this year, former “Mandalorian” actress Gina Carano made national headlines when she announced she was joining The Daily Wire. The company’s first film with Carano will debut in the first quarter of 2022.
Carano, too, said she’s been thrilled with the creative freedom she’s found at The Daily Wire since Disney fired her over social media posts.
“This has been a year full of so many changes and I am excited to embrace this chapter of my life with The Daily Wire in starting production on our first film,” she said, adding “I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to take this first big step into living my dream and continuing the quest of telling stories and opening up opportunities for other artists from every walk of life.”
The Daily Wire says it will share further details about “Shut In” in the coming weeks.