While the movie's "title was kind of a joke at first," Zoë Kravitz tells Deadline, it "wound up having multiple meanings"

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Zoe Kravitz, Channing Tatum
Zoë Kravitz (L); Channing Tatum
| Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty; Taylor Hill/WireImage

Zoë Kravitz is heading behind the camera for the first time.

Deadline reports that the Big Little Lies star, 32, is set to make her directorial debut with her upcoming film Pussy Island, a thriller starring Channing Tatum as a philanthropist and tech mogul named Slater who whisks away cocktail waitress Frida to his mysterious private island.

Of the plot, Deadline reports, "Despite the epic setting, beautiful people, ever-flowing champagne and late-night dance parties, Frida can sense that there's more to this island than meets the eye. Something she can't quite put her finger on. Something that is a bit terrifying."

Kravitz - who also co-wrote the screenplay, alongside E.T. Feigenbaum - told Deadline that she began writing it in 2017, and was inspired in part by experiencing "some pretty wild behavior from the opposite sex" as a woman in the entertainment industry.

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Zoe Kravitz
Zoë Kravitz
| Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum
| Credit: Gerald Matzka/picture alliance via Getty

"The title was kind of a joke at first, this place where people would go, bring women, party and hang out. The story evolved into something else, but the title wound up having multiple meanings," she said. "It alludes to this time and place we claim to not be in anymore, in terms of sexual politics."

"People are evolving and changing but there is still a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths from past behavior," Kravitz went on. "It's a nod to that, but it's also ... a really playful film in a lot of ways. I like that the title leads with that and has some heavy meaning beneath it."

Of Slater, Tatum, 41, told Deadline he is "a wild character, an extremely committed version - psychotic possibly - but an extreme version of myself."

"He wants to know what people are capable of, what they want, and what they are capable of when they want something," the actor said. "And how far are you willing to push yourself to get the thing you want. For me, that supersedes gender, race or religion, creed. That's wildly fascinating to me."

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Kravitz said Tatum was her "first choice" and the actor she "thought of when [she] wrote this character" for the film, which will be produced by Kravitz, Tiffany Persons, Bruce Cohen and Tatum's Free Association company.

"I just knew from Magic Mike and his live shows, I got the sense he's a true feminist and I wanted to collaborate with someone who was clearly interested in exploring this subject matter," she explained.

Tatum said he was "shocked" that Kravitz called him seemingly "out of nowhere," as they didn't know each other and he wasn't aware she was looking to direct. But he was grateful for the "chance to play a role like this," which is different than anything he has done before.

"It was scary and liberating, just to be able to have a free conversation, where I was allowed to mess up, and say the wrong things," he said. "It became less about men and women and on more of a human thing that will open people's eyes, rather than us drawing lines in the sand, the you're a man, I'm a woman, it's [an] us-against-you thing. This goes deeper in a direction I'm fascinated by and I'm interested in seeing how people receive this and break it down in their own lives. And what they think the movie means and how would they have made decisions."