Best known for arthouse fare such as Dean Spanley,
New Zealand director Toa Fraser will be taking a hard left turn into entirely different territory with his freshly announced new film The Dead Lands
. And whatever lessons he learned about shooting choreography with his acclaimed ballet film Giselle
- a selection of the Toronto International Film Festival - will be put to use with choreography of an entirely different sort.
After his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery, Hongi - a
Maori chieftan's teenage son - must avenge his father's murder in order
to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones. Vastly
outnumbered by the band of villains, Hongi's only hope is to pass
through the feared and forbidden Dead Lands and forge an uneasy alliance
with the mysterious "Warrior," a ruthless fighter who has ruled the
area for years.
Yes, The Dead Lands
is a period set action epic based entirely in the traditional Maori fighting arts. James Rolleston (Boy
), Lawrence Makoare, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Xavier Horan, George Henare and Rena Owen star with principal photography beginning on Monday. Sales and production company XYZ Films (where, yes, I'm a partner, full disclosure, etc etc) will handle all international business on the film with XYZ's Australian exec Simon de Bruyn (hey! that's a familiar name, too!) telling Screen
, "[The Dead Lands
] is an important film. These guys are
bringing Maori history and culture to life in an authentic, unsparing,
and dramatically spectacular way."
That's the first piece of concept art above and keep an eye out for stills and other materials as production moves along.
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