Guy Pearce in ‘Jack Irish.’

Aquarius Films’ Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford have taken over as the producers of Guy Pearce’s directorial debut Poor Boy, in which he will also star.

When Screen Australia announced funding for the project in March Wildheart Films’ Al Clark and Andrena Finlay were listed as the producers.

Written by Matt Cameron and based on his play of the same name, the paranormal mystery-drama follows a boy who announces to his family on his seventh birthday that he is a stranger named Danny – a grown man who died seven years earlier.

Clark, who is still attached as an executive producer, tells IF his decision to withdraw as producer was “prompted by a fundamental difference of perception. My involvement has changed to reflect this.”

Staniford tells IF: “Angie and I are now producing and Al is still involved as an EP. Happy to chat further when more is in place but currently we do not have any more details to share.”

Becker Film Group, which agreed to distribute the film when Clark was in the driver’s seat, has stepped away. There is no word yet on a new distributor. International sales are being handled by Cinema Management Group and Guardian Entertainment International.

Originally shooting was due to start in August with Pearce and his partner Carice van Houten starring alongside Frances O’Connor, Richard Roxburgh, Callan Mulvey and Sarah Peirse, but that has been delayed while the last piece of financing is secured.

Clark’s move is perhaps surprising given the producer’s long association with Pearce, which dates back to Stephan Elliott’s The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1994. Last year they collaborated on Elliott’s Swinging Safari.

However changes in producers do happen occasionally, mostly when they struggle to get projects financed and the rights expire. Dirt Music, for example, went through several creative iterations over the past dozen years until landing with Film4, Aquarius Films and Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey of the UK’s Wildgaze Films.

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