Mckenna Grace to Lead Opioid Drama Spider & Jessie

The Emmy-nominated actress Mckenna Grace will be starring in Dan Kay’s Spider & Jessie in the role of Spider, while Jojo Regina will be Jessie. Jesse Williams, Dacre Montgomery, Forrest Goodluck, Fernanda Andrade, and Malia Baker will join them in the cast. Hungry Bull Productions leader Joseph Restaino and Jeff Hoffman from Above the Clouds are producing and co-financing.

“Dan’s vision for Spider & Jessie is a true testament of his unique voice as a writer/director, and one that we can’t wait to introduce to audiences across the world. Having such an incredible cast attached, led by Mckenna Grace and Jojo Regina, speaks directly to the special nature of the story Dan has devised. At Hungry Bull Productions, our focus has always been to work with the best talent and bring forward meaningful stories, Spider & Jessie represents precisely that. We are thrilled to be working with such great partners on this project in Above the Clouds as well,” said Restaino.

Spider and Jessie are two sisters who become terrified that they’ll be separated in an overburdened foster care system after their mother dies of an overdose. The two of them end up deciding to conceal the body. Problems arise for the scrappy sisters as the local police chief, mom’s drug counselor, and her volatile ex-boyfriend get closer to discovering the truth — leaving Spider and Jessie in a situation where they have to decide how far they’re willing to go to keep their secret.

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During an interview with Deadline, Kay spoke of how he’d been interested in telling stories about addiction and the opioid epidemic for years and that he’s seen firsthand “how this insidious disease not only destroys the life of the addict but tears apart the fabric and foundation of the addict’s family.” The collateral damage caused by addiction compelled him to tell this heartbreaking, vital story concerning opioid orphans.

“When I first read Kay’s powerful script, I cried and laughed and was touched to my soul by these sisters in the story having to survive the loss of their mother to an opioid overdose. Watching this script come to life with such amazing performances, incredible locations and beautiful cinematography is nothing short of a miracle, and will greatly raise awareness of this tragic epidemic,” said Hoffman.

Here Are Some of the Actors in Spider & Jessie

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Grace received a Guest Actress Drama Series Emmy nomination for her performance as Esther Keyes in The Handmaid’s Tale the previous year, making her the youngest-ever nominee in the category. Earlier this month, Grace starred in The Bad Seed Returns, which she executive produced and co-wrote with her father. Besides that, Grace is also about to star in the true-crime limited series A Friend of the Family.

“I’m so grateful to be a part of this important story about addiction and how it affects not only the addict but those around them. I was aware of how prevalent drug use and addiction was, but in doing this film, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of just how big of a problem it is. Many of our own cast and crew have shared their experiences and it’s heartbreaking. Doing this is more than just making a film, it’s creating and being a part of something that is bigger than ourselves,” said Grace.

Williams earned a Tony nomination for his performance as Darren Lemming in the Tony-winning revival Take Me Out, which was his Broadway debut. Besides that, he’s also appeared in the horror-comedy The Cabin in the Woods as well as the videogame Detroit: Become Human. He will next be seen in Netflix’s Your Place or Mine.

“I am honored to join this incredible producing team and cast led by the words and direction of Dan Kay. Shining a light on the shared human conditions that lead to and from addiction, provides us an opportunity to examine our compassion for those impacted today as well as for those pathologized in our recent past,” said Williams.

Montgomery is best known for his performance as Billy Hargrove in Netflix’s Stranger Things, who first appeared in the show’s second season. Recently, Montgomery was seen in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis and The Broken Hearts Gallery. Before that, he also appeared in the 2017 Power Rangers feature film as Jason, aka the Red Ranger.

Regina starred in the sleeper box office hit Where the Crawdads Sing as Little Kya. Besides that, she was also in an episode of The Chosen titled “Jesus Loves the Little Children” as Child #2 and the short film Delight as Evangelina. It is not currently known what she will appear in after Spider & Jessie.