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Mandy director Panos Cosmatos’ next film is a nightmare sci-fi romance

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Nekrokosm has no release date yet

Sitges Film Festival in 2018 Photo by Peter Sabok/COOLMEDIA/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Panos Cosmatos, director of Mandy and Beyond the Black Rainbow, is directing and co-writing a new film alongside screenwriter Maegan Houang. The film, named Nekrokosm, has no premiere date but will be produced and released by A24 in partnership with XYZ Films. It’s billed as a “phantasmagorical fantasy nightmare” — in which “deep within a strange galaxy, two lovers are torn apart as they try to survive a malevolent invasion.”

Houang has written for the excellent Starz sci-fi series Counterpart and the upcoming miniseries Shōgun, while Cosmatos is best known for the 2018 film Mandy, which pitted Nicolas Cage against a violent neo-hippie cult. (A highly memorable chainsaw duel — far from the strangest thing in the movie — was referenced briefly in the new Cage meta-film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.)

There’s not a lot of detail yet about Nekrokosm beyond a press release first revealed by The Hollywood Reporter. So it’s not clear whether it will follow Mandy’s path as a surreal but (relatively) conventionally paced action movie, or if we could see something more like the slow-burn trip of 2010’s Beyond the Black Rainbow — a film that didn’t reach the same broad audience but established the director’s distinctive retro-psychedelic style, as well as a penchant for exploring the dark side of countercultural idealism. But the press release refers to it as a “sci-fi epic”, which at least promises something appealingly ambitious for anyone who’s been waiting on a new Cosmatos project.