From Marvel Superhero To Jennifer Lopez’s Adversary, Simu Liu Lands First Villain Role In Netflix’s ‘Atlas’, Sterling K. Brown Also Joins Cast

EXCLUSIVE: After establishing himself as one of the key pillars of the next phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Simu Liu is ready to show some edginess as sources tell Deadline he is set to play the antagonist in Netflix’s Atlas starring Jennifer Lopez. Sterling K. Brown and Abraham Popoola have also landed a key role in the pic with Brad Peyton directing the pic. Aron Eli Coleite is writing the most recent draft of the script based off Leo Sardarian original script.

Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell, who will produce for Safehouse Pictures along with Peyton and Jeff Fierson for ASAP Entertainment as well as Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina joining Lopez to produce through Nuyorican Productions. Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter have also recently joined as producers, producing through their Berlanti/Schechter Films. Courtney Baxter will exec produce with Matt Schwartz co-producing.

The film follows Atlas, a woman fighting for humanity in a future where an AI soldier has determined the only way to end war is to end humanity. To outthink this rogue AI, Atlas must work with the one thing she fears most — another AI.

After landing the highly coveted role of Shang-Chi, Liu delivered the goods in last summers hit Marvel pic Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings, which had one of the biggest openings following the pandemic reset. It would go on to be a huge hit, grossing $432 million at the global box-office and solidified him as a future building block of the MCU. This latest edgy villain role is just part of how Liu has diversified his future slate with different roles in various genres. Next summer he gets to show off his comedic skills in the highly-anticipated Barbie pic at Warner Bros. that also stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. He also has the romantic drama One True Loves and Arthur the King with Mark Wahlberg. He is repped by CAA and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.

As for Brown, following his hit NBC drama This Is Us wrapping up this past May, Brown is looking to bolster his film slate. Next up is the Focus drama Honk For Jesus, Save Your Soul, which opens Labor Day Weekend. He is repped by CAA, JWS Entertainment and attorney Gregory Slewett at Ziffren Brittenham.

Popoola was most recently seen in The Great on Hulu. He is repped by Independent Talent Group, APA and Grandview.


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