Aussie writer-director Ben Briand is set to make his feature debut with the thriller Fever Heart, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Cara Delevingne.
Briand is known for shorts such as Apricot and Blood Pulls a Gun, the latter of which won him the Emerging Filmmaker Award at MIFF in 2014. He co-wrote Fever Heart's script with Kevin W. Koehler.
Fellow Sydneysider Matt Dooley will produce alongside Picture Films' Margot Hand, with shooting expected to start next year.
Nikki Barratt, who helped assemble actors for the likes of Hacksaw Ridge, The Great Gatsby and Mad Max: Fury Road, is in charge of casting.
Described as "gothic road film", Fever Heart follows a mysterious amnesiac (Skarsgård) who teams up with a beautiful, quick-witted circus sharp-shooter (Delevingne) to uncover his lost memories.
Aussie Michelle Bennett will executive produce along with Nadine de Barros.
“I'm a huge fan of Ben’s work. I'm overjoyed at the opportunity to work with him," said de Barros. "Ben and Kevin’s script had me on the edge of my seat, and Alexander and Cara are the perfect match for this material.”
Fortitude International, co-founded by de Barros and Robert Ogden Barnum, have the international rights to the film and are shopping it this week at the American Film Market.
WME Global and CAA are co-repping North American rights.
Briand is repped by WME and is part of Collider's stable in Sydney.