Rupert Penry-Jones is attached to play the lead in supernatural thriller Nulla, the debut feature from Red Rock Pictures’ producer-writer Gary O’Toole.
The English actor will play a British soldier, an Iraq veteran, who sets out to drive from Melbourne to Perth with a buddy, a fellow soldier.
En route there’s a horrific accident. Fast & Furious’ Paul Walker had been in talks to play the character.
Penry-Jones’ credits include Black Sails, Silk, Spooks, Whitechapel and the features A Little Chaos, Match Point and Charlotte Gray.
“We know Rupert will bring that determined, but vulnerable quality needed in our main protagonist,” said O’Toole. “The character of Danny Kaine is a rich, dark, complex and compelling character and who doesn't want to play those types?
"I'm a massive fan of this guy's work and he's a brilliant addition to the project. I needed the protagonist to be not Australian, that's why we got so close to attaching Paul Walker before his tragic death. We needed someone who is completely outside of their comfort zone, someone who has no concept of the dangers they would face in such a hostile environment.,
“That letter of attachment has taken many months of negotiation. I have to say his management, ARG Talent Agency, has been fantastic.”
The producer is in talks with an internationally recognized Australian actor to play the co-lead.
No director has yet been set. Executive producer Robert Lewis Galinsky tells IF he is chasing a big-name US director.
Galinsky and O’Toole have already lined up some private investors to part-fund the $8.7 million budget.
“We have a core group of great people who have been with this project from the very start and we are blessed to have their support and faith. There is always more money to chase,” O’Toole said.
The plan is to begin production in Australia in the first quarter of 2016. Launched in 2013, Red Rock Pictures is developing several features including While It Lasts, Clandestine and Fraker’s Way.