John Boyega (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) and Darren Criss (American Crime: The Assassination of Gianni Versace) will be starring in iHeartRadio, FlynnPictureCo., Psychopia Pictures, and UpperRoom Productions, There Be Monsters. According to Deadline, the sci-fi thriller podcast will be a 10-part narrative that will be available later this year on the iHeartPodcast Network.
The podcast will follow Jack Locke (Boyega), a mysterious hero with a vendetta who infiltrates a Silicon Valley body-hacking startup run by an enigmatic CEO Max Fuller (Criss), whose highly secretive creations promise to enhance human biology in incredible ways. Of course, every drug has a side effect.
The project began developing late in 2019 but with the pandemic it caused work to shut down. But despite the challenges, the cast were able to work remotely.
“The process to develop this scripted show and the ability to capture the connection, emotions and overall dynamic between the cast members while recording remotely, from across the globe, was unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network.
Marley Shelton (Rampage), Clark Gregg (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and Tony nominee Sahr Ngaujah (Fela!, Patti Cake$) are also part of the cast. The series was created and directed by Dan Bush (The Vault, The Signal), who co-wrote along with Nicholas Tecosky.
“Getting to explore this format of storytelling whilst also adjusting to new methods of recording with the cast members made it an exciting process,” said Boyega. “I’m thrilled it all came together and hope audiences are just as drawn in as I was to this sci-fi thriller series.”
“’There Be Monsters’ is a psychological thriller that chronicles the rise of humankind 2.0, and the disruptions to society that come with it,” said Bush. “We chose to format this story as a scripted podcast because it is an immersive, storytelling playground, and I am beyond excited to partner with this powerhouse team and talent to bring this singular show to life.”
“From the start, our goal for “There Be Monsters,” our first PodFiction series, has always been to break down traditional storytelling barriers and create a completely unique and immersive narrative audio experience that takes listeners beyond conventional podcasting,” said Flynn. “When the pandemic hit this year and the world collectively turned to storytellers and artists to help get through this challenging time, we knew we had to find a way to keep production on track and deliver this story. We couldn’t have conceived of better partners than iHeartRadio, Dan Bush and our exemplary cast and crew to step into the unknown with. What we were able to achieve together despite endless challenges and limitations is truly the first of its kind, and we can’t wait to share this incredible story and unique experience with the world.”
Boyega is repped by Femi Oguns of Identity Agency Group. Criss is repped by CAA and Ricky Rollins of Hyphenate Creative Management and his attorney is Hansen, Jacobson. iHeartMedia was represented by Oren Rosenbaum of UTA during the deal.