Kriv Stenders, the director behind the 2011 hit family comedy Red Dog, is currently working on three feature films, in three distinctively different genres.
Screen Australia has announced funding for two of the projects.
The first is Long Tan, which focuses on a true story from the Vietnam War where 108 inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers attempted to hold off the enemy force of 2,500 battle-hardened Viet Cong. A team of debut feature scribes collaborated on the project.
The second, Bad Angel, was penned by Snowtown's Shaun Grant and follows a New York assassin who becomes immersed with a simple but welcoming rural Australian community and learns about love and family values.
Then, in an interesting juxtaposition, British comedian Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) has been cast against type in an ominous role in Stenders' thriller Kill Me Three Times. The film combines tales of murder, blackmail and revenge, and hinges on a young woman in the idyllic Western Australian surfing town of Eagle's Nest.
“I'm thrilled to have Simon onboard,” Stenders told SBS Film. “It's always a roll of the dice when you send someone like that a project. He loved the script and has a great 'in' for the character. I don't want to give anything away… but it's a deliciously unique role for him and will be an exciting surprise for audiences around the world.”
The thriller is set to commence shooting in mid-September and will also star Abbie Cornish (Bright Star), Ben Mendelsohn, (Animal Kingdom), Sullivan Stapleton, (The Hunter) and Brazilian actress Alice Braga (City of God). It will be produced by former Screen NSW chief executive Tania Chambers, Laurence Malkin (Death at a Funeral) and Share Stallings (A Few Best Men). Cargo Entertainment is handling the international pre-sales in Cannes, while Hopscotch/eOne will distribute in Australia and New Zealand.
The backers of Kill Me Three Times include Screen Australia, Screen West, Film Victoria, the Melbourne International Film Festival and Media House Capital.