EXCLUSIVE: Grammy-winning singer SZA and Euphoria breakout Chloe Cherry have signed on to star alongside Eddie Huang (Boogie) in Tuna Melt, an off-beat dramedy that he wrote and will direct for SB Projects and Ryder Picture Company.
Tuna Melt is likened to an updated Pulp Fiction meets High Fidelity. Huang will lead the darkly comedic feature as a hitman who unexpectedly meets the love of his life soon after he completes a job. This all transpires in the aftermath of a break-up. While SZA will play Huang’s love interest, details as to Cherry’s role are being kept under wraps.
Scooter Braun and James Shin will produce for SB Projects, along with Aaron Ryder and Andrew Swett for Ryder Picture Company. Huang is also producing, with Scott Manson serving as exec producer.
Huang is a writer, director, actor, chef and television personality who made his feature directorial debut with the 2021 basketball drama Boogie for Focus Features, which he also wrote and co-starred in opposite Pop Smoke and Taylour Paige. His autobiographical book, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, was adapted into a critically acclaimed ABC comedy series of the same name, which completed its six-season run in 2020. Huang has also hosted cooking shows including Cheap Bites & Unique Eats and Huang’s World, and was recently set to write and executive produce the one-hour drama Panda, about the pressed pill boom of the late-’90s, for Showtime.
SZA is a chart-topping singer and performer who with Tuna Melt will make her feature film debut. Her major- label debut album Ctrl has remained on the Billboard 200 chart since its 2017 release and holds the record for the longest run for any Black female artist’s debut album. SZA this year won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Doja Cat for “Kiss Me More.” Her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar on the Black Panther single “All the Stars” resulted in multiple award nominations including the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In addition to the aforementioned artists, SZA has collaborated with everyone from Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, Maroon5 and Rihanna, seeing her music earn over 7.2 billion streams worldwide.
Cherry broke out with her role as Faye in the second season of HBO’s hit series Euphoria and will next be seen in the sci-fi drama http://www.RachelOrmont.com, from writer-director Peter Vack.
The Scooter Braun-led entertainment and media company SB Projects manages a roster of some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, J Balvin, Idina Menzel, Demi Lovato, Ashley Graham and Tori Kelly. It was behind the 3D concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which remains the highest-grossing music documentary in domestic box office history, and has also produced FX’s rap-centric comedy series Dave, the YouTube Premium docuseries Seasons and Demi Lovato; Dancing with the Devil, Matthew Heineman’s feature doc The Boy from Medellín, featuring J Balvin, for Amazon, and the Netflix concert film Excuse Me, I Love You, spotlighting Ariana Grande’s Sweetener World Tour. Projects in active development at the company include the Freeform series Trap Queen from creator Miquel Nolla and an untitled K-Pop film for 20th Century Studios.
Producer Aaron Ryder recently formed Ryder Picture Company, a film and television production company which boasts a first-look deal with MGM Studios. Formerly, as one of the founding members of FilmNation Entertainment, Ryder produced such notable features as Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, Jeff Nichols’ Mud and John Lee Hancock’s The Founder. More recent films produced include Lisa Joy’s feature directorial debut Reminiscence for Warner Brothers; The Good House for Amblin Pictures; Apple’s WWII drama Greyhound starring Tom Hanks; the critically acclaimed Vanessa Kirby starrer Pieces of a Woman; and Amazon’s The Map of Tiny Perfect Things. Ryder’s film Misanthrope, starring Shailene Woodley, is currently in post-production.
Huang is represented by UTA and Entertainment 360; SZA by WME and Terrence “Punch” Henderson; and Cherry by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
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