Apocalyptic science fiction or movies set in a dystopian future have been a staple of Australian cinema since 1970s classics Mad Max and The Cars That Ate Paris - and even arguably as far back as the 1959 Gregory Peck post-apocalyptic drama On The Beach.
We're starting to see a resurgence in this genre now with two high-class projects, Zak Hilditch's These Final Hours and David Michôd's The Rover, set to start filming in Australia in the coming months.
These Final Hours is especially exciting as it's the first major feature from writer/director Zak Hilditch, who has been building up to this for years with a string of indie features and - significantly - the festival-acclaimed short film Transmission, which was made as a dystopian companion piece to These Final Hours. Liz Kearney is the producer on both.
With the film set to start shooting in a week, the project has announced a slew of cast, led by Wolf Creek's Nathan Phillips - who was also fantastic in Robert Connolly's thriller Balibo. Indeed Connolly is executive producing These Final Hours, which is particularly exciting given the tenor of films he's made - most recently the Julian Assange movie Underground.
Phillips will play James, a self-obsessed young man determined to make his way to the party to end all parties on the last day on Earth. However he ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father, and she ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.
Joining Phillips are some of Australia's most intriguing rising stars. Sarah Snook, who made David Fincher's shortlist for Lisbeth Salander, has a supporting role. As does Daniel Henshall, who played serial killer John Bunting with terrifying calmness in the best movie of last year, Snowtown.
The cast also includes Jess de Gouw, who is currently playing the role of The Huntress in The CW's Arrow TV series, Lynette Curran (The Boys, Somersault) and Kathryn Beck (Not Suitable for Children). Newcomer Angourie Rice joins the film as Rose, the young girl James saves. Rice was previously in Hilditch's short film Transmission.
Full disclosure: XYZ Films/Celluloid Nightmares, which has an ownership stake in ScreenAnarchy, is handling foreign sales. So I can confirm the script is totally kick-ass.
[pic: director Zak Hilditch and Nathan Phillips]
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