Black Bear Pictures announced today that Academy Award®-Winner Riz Ahmed (The Long Goodbye, Sound of Metal, “The Night Of”) and Emmy-nominated actress Lily James (“Pam & Tommy”, Baby Driver) will star in the gripping contemporary new thriller Relay. Directed by David Mackenzie (Academy Award®-nominated Hell or High Water, Outlaw King, Starred Up) and written by Justin Piasecki and Mackenzie, the film will start production in New York and New Jersey in April. Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk and Sigma’s Gillian Berrie and Mackenzie will produce alongside Black Bear’s Academy Award®-nominated Teddy Schwarzman.
In Relay, Tom (Ahmed) is a world class “fixer” who specializes in brokering lucrative payoffs between corrupt corporations and the individuals who threaten their ruin. He keeps his identity a secret through meticulous planning and always follows an exacting set of rules. But when a message arrives one day from potential client Sarah (James), needing Tom’s protection just to stay alive, the rules quickly start to change.
Ahmed is an Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning actor, writer, and producer. He has most notably starred in Sound of Metal, for which he earned the Academy Award® Best Actor nomination, the Star Wars anthology film Rogue One, Nightcrawler, Venom, and HBO's miniseries The Night Of, for which he won an Emmy Award. Under his production company, Left Handed Films, Ahmed wrote, produced and starred in The Long Goodbye, which won an Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film. Ahmed will next appear in the upcoming Hamlet adaptation as the titular character, and Christos Nikou’s sci-fi drama Fingernails.
James is best known for her starring roles in Cinderella, “Downton Abbey,” Darkest Hour, Yesterday, Baby Driver, and most recently her transformative performance in “Pam & Tommy,” which earned her Emmy, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice nominations. She recently wrapped production on the upcoming crime comedy film Providence, which will also star opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as wrestling drama The Iron Claw starring Zac Efron.
As a director, Mackenzie has helmed such hit projects as Hell or High Water starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine, which was nominated for four Academy Awards® including Best Picture; Netflix’s Outlaw King starring Chris Pine; and Starred Up, starring Jack O’Connell.