Awkwafina is one of Hollywood’s brightest rising stars, capping off a stellar two years in both blockbusters and indie dramas with a Golden Globe win for her tremendous performance in 2019’s The Farewell – becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win the award. And it’s only looking brighter for her, as she is set to appear in a Marvel movie, a Disney movie, and now, an intriguing new movie for Apple TV+ that reunites Moonlight stars Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris.
Awkwafina is set to join the cast of Swan Song, a genre-bending romantic drama set in the near-future to be directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Benjamin Cleary, Variety reports. Cleary won the Oscar in the live-action short category in 2016 for Stutterer and makes his feature directorial debut with Swan Song, described as “a genre-bending drama set in the near future that explores how far someone will go, and how much they’ll sacrifice, to make a happier life for the people they love.”
Awkwafina is set to play Kate, the “close friend and confidant” of Ali’s character Cameron, while Harris is playing Poppy, Cameron’s wife and true soulmate.
That’s a pretty impressive collection of talent in the cast for Swan Song: a two-time Oscar winner, an Oscar nominee, and a Golden Globe winner (and should’ve been Oscar nominee). It reunites Ali and Harris after they both earned acclaim (and the aforementioned Oscar wins and nods) for their performances in Barry Jenkins’ 2016 film Moonlight, and it brings Awkwafina into the fold as the actress is enjoying the most buzz of her career yet: stealing the scene in tentpoles like Jumanji: The Next Level, starring in her own TV series for Comedy Central, Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, and set to gain an even higher profile in Marvel and Disney projects like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Raya and the Last Dragon. The only thing missing from her slate is a prestige drama, and on the heels of the acclaim she won for The Farewell, Swan Song seems like a great next step. From the very brief description, it sounds like a high-concept sci-fi drama in the vein of Spike Jonze’s Her that could make quite an impact, if done right.
Cleary writes and directs Swan Song, which is produced by Apple Studios, Anonymous Content and Concordia Studio. Adam Shulman and Jacob Perlin will produce the film on behalf of Anonymous Content. Jonathan King will produce on behalf of Concordia Studio. In addition to starring, Ali is also a producer through his company Know Wonder.
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