Casting director Amanda Mitchell is currently conducting a national talent search for writer-director Kiah Roache-Turner’s World War II shark thriller Beast Of War.
The feature, to be co-produced by Bronte Pictures and Pictures in Paradise, is set during 1942 on a warship carrying hundreds of Australian soldiers across the Timor Sea to the frontline. Suddenly, Japanese fighter jets scream out of the sky, and within minutes the ocean becomes a hell of steel, fire, oil and blood.
With the vessel destroyed, a handful of soldiers build a makeshift raft from floating debris as they cling to their lives. Tensions run high between the hot-headed and terrified young men, as they band together in an effort to survive. But their biggest battle is yet to come. In the dark below, a great white shark hunts in the wreckage and is drawn to the smell of fresh blood in the water.
Mitchell Casting is searching for both established and emerging actors to play the soldiers, with a number of support roles to cover. However, the two key roles Mitchell is focused on include a 17-year-old unexpected hero and alpha-male with a chip on his shoulder hiding from a traumatic past. The lead role is currently on offer.
Cornerstone Films launched the project for sales at last month’s American Film Market, with The Hollywood Reporter putting the film on its ‘AFM Hot List’ and describing it as “WWII. With Sharks.”
Bronte’s Blake Northfield and Pictures in Paradise’s Chris Brown produce, while Creature NFX director Paul Trefry is set to build the shark from his Sydney studio. Production is due to take place mid next year, taking place across Byron Bay and Malta.
The producers’ decision to conduct an open casting call stems from a desire to leave “no stone unturned” and give actors from across Australia the opportunity to land a leading role in a film with international exposure; the buzz generated out of AFM relieves some of the pressure of having to rely on name actors, and there are hopes to find a star.
“It’s very exciting to be looking Australia wide for these roles and we’re all absolutely thrilled to have Amanda on board. Kiah has written an exceptional script and Chris and I are very much looking forward to the next few months,” Northfield said.