Young actor Gabriel Bateman (American Gothic, Outcast) has been cast as the lead of Syfy pilot Cipher (working title), and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn alum Kyla-Drew Simmons is set to co-star in the AI drama from Allison Miller (Strange Angel) and Universal Content Productions. Rough House Pictures (Halloween) is executive producing.
Written by Miller, in Cipher, following the recent death of his mother, 13-year-old video game junkie Asa’s (Bateman) life changes yet again when his brain is implanted with one-of-a-kind computer technology, and the boy and his father unwittingly find themselves at the center of the next great war – over artificial intelligence.
Simmons plays 16-year-old Annie, a mysterious figure Asa meets inside the video game. Although Annie seems to know a great deal about the game, she understands very little about the complexities of human relationships and the world outside the game.
Miller will executive produce via her overall deal with UCP. David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Brandon James will executive produce for Rough House Pictures. Peter Hoar, who helmed the pilot episode of UCP’s The Umbrella Academy for Netflix, will direct.
On TV, Bateman was recently seen in murder-mystery series American Gothic and in a recurring role on Robert Kirkman’s series Outcast. On the film side, he’ll next be seen in starring roles in Orion Pictures’ relaunch of the Child’s Play horror franchise, set for release June 21, and as the voice of Charlie in the animated film, Playmobil: The Movie, slated to bow this summer. Bateman is repped by Coast to Coast Talent Group, Hg5 Entertainment and The Nord Group.
Simmons, who was a series regular on Disney Channel’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn, has had guest-starring roles on Station 19, Castle, and Grey’s Anatomy among others. In film, she’s been seen in features Peppermint alongside Jennifer Garner, and Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis. She’s repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Monster Talent.