Erskineville Kings director Alan White will direct Reclaim, a psychological thriller about an American couple who come to Australia to adopt a child after their unborn child dies in a car accident.
Due to shoot later this year, the film is the first from a production co-venture between US-based Australian director Robert Luketic and Ian Sutherland's Origin Productions, who will serve as producers with Brian and Josh Etting of L.A.–based Garlin Pictures.
It will be the first Aussie film from White (pictured), another expat who lives in Los Angeles, since 2000's Risk, a crime thriller that starred Bryan Brown and Claudia Karvan.
The screenplay is by Luke Davies (Candy) and Carmine Gaeta. The plot follows the couple, Steven and Shannon, as they prepare to adopt an Afghani refugee child who mysteriously vanishes from their hotel room.
The film is currently being cast. Arclight Films, which is selling worldwide rights, pitched the project to buyers at the Berlin festival's European Film Market.
Sutherland, whose day job is general manager, alternate content at Amalgamated Holdings, which owns Event Cinemas, is a former executive vice president, international theatrical distribution for MGM in LA. He and Luketic have been developing projects for the past few years. Luketic broke through in Hollywood with Legally Blonde and has since directed 21, Killers and The Ugly Truth.
White made his directing debut with Erskineville Kings, a 1999 drama that starred Hugh Jackman and Joel Edgerton. His first US film was 2006 thriller Broken, with Heather Graham, Jeremy Sisto, Tess Harper and Linda Hamilton.
White is presently in Australia shooting Westerly, A Man, A Woman, An Enigma, a feature length documentary about surfing legend Peter Drouyn, who underwent a metamorphosis after a surfing accident in 2002, with a new identity as a female named Westerly Windina. The producers, Westwood Productions, raised $63,000 from crowdfunding site Kickstarter. White's co-director/co-writer on that project is Jamie Brisick.
The filmmakers stated on Kickstarter, “In 2008, Peter Drouyn announced on Australian national television that he was living as a woman. His new name, she said, was Westerly Windina. The surf community—and Australia in general—was astonished. Since then, Westerly has been living in public housing on Australia's Gold Coast. Her life is not easy. She is alone, poor, and often taunted by her neighbours.
“We will explore Westerly's past as a man, document her upcoming gender-reassignment operation in Thailand, and follow her post-op as she acclimates to the newest chapter of her enigmatic journey.”