The Weeknd will make his cinematic debut alongside Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems, a crime thriller directed by the Safdie brothers.
The R&B star – real name Abel Tesfaye – will star in the new film by Josh and Benny Safdie (Good Time, Heaven Knows What). The movie will premiere in The Weeknd’s hometown at the Toronto International Film Festival, which takes place from 5 to 15 September.
Uncut Gems, which is set in the Manhattan diamond district, centres on Howard Ratner, an acquisitive, charismatic jeweller played by Sandler. “When he makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win”, TIFF’s official description reads.
Besides The Weeknd and Sandler, Uncut Gems has cast former basketball star Kevin Garnett, Julia Fox, Broadway and Frozen star Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, Noa Fisher and more. It was executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
Its premiere is months away, but Uncut Gems has already garnered praise. “It moves at a breakneck praise. It’s cranked up to 11 the whole time, it’s exhilarating to watch,” TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey enthused to IndieWire. “Adam Sandler gives his very best performance since Punch-Drunk Love and Kevin Garnett is in it, so it’s got something for everybody.”
Uncut Gems will be distributed in the USA by A24, the studio which worked with the Safdie brothers’ on their last film, Good Time. Netflix will distribute the film internationally.
As uDiscover Music previously reported, The Weeknd also recently teamed up with Travis Scott and SZA to record ‘Power Is Power’ for the high-profile final series of Game Of Thrones. The song appears on the Game Of Thrones-inspired compilation, album For The Throne, which was released during April. Also featured on the record are the likes of Muse‘s Matt Bellamy, The National, Mumford & Sons, and A$AP Rocky.