Boris Kodjoe is set to direct real-life wife Nicole Ari Parker in the Lifetime suspense thriller Safe Space, the network announced Wednesday, June 30.
Kodjoe will have a role in the original movie and make his directorial debut on the project, with Ari Parker (Chicago P.D., Empire) leading the cast. Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos), Nik Sanchez (The Rookie) and Mackenzie Astin (The Magicians) round out the main cast.
Per a Lifetime press release, “Safe Space centers on recently widowed Lila Jackson (Ari Parker) and her 14-year-old autistic son Ian (Sanchez). Since the death of her husband, Lila is grateful for their kind neighbor Neil Hargrove (Kodjoe), who looks out for them. After Ian accidentally witnesses a break-in in the house across the street and records the horrific murder of the homeowner, Lila becomes embroiled in a deadly struggle to protect her son from intruders Dominic (Astin) and Rocco (De Matteo), who will stop at nothing to retrieve the video evidence of the crime and silence them. Hiding and trapped in a makeshift panic room created by her late husband, Lila and Ian must use all of their strength and intelligence to outsmart the intruders to save themselves.”
Additional cast members include Monica Calhoun who appears as Officer Armani and Julito McCullum as a repairman.
The film is currently in production and scheduled to premiere in 2022.
Lifetime enlisted the organization RespectAbility to review of the script and ensure as much authenticity as possible in the portrayal of Ian. The role of Ian is played by Nik Sanchez who is on the autism spectrum. Resources to learn more about autism will be provided at the end of the film.
Safe Space is produced by Astute Films for Lifetime. Executive producers include Dominique Telson and Karen Kaufman Wilson. Boris Kodjoe directs from a script written by Nneka Gerstle.
Ari Parker and Kodjoe previously worked together on the television series Soul Food.