Director’s cut of Sophia Banks’ ‘Black Site’ released on Sky

Sophia Banks speaking with Tahyna MacManus.

Sophia Banks’ directorial debut Black Site has started a new life on Sky, which has released her cut of the action thriller.

Shot on the Gold Coast at the beginning of last year, the film follows a group of officers based in a labyrinthine top-secret CIA black site who must fight for their lives as they come up against Hatchet, an infamous high-value detainee whose deadly agenda has vast consequences.

Australian actors Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, Uli Latukefu, Pallavi Sharda, Phoenix Raei , and Fayssal Bazzi join Michelle Monaghan in the cast, with Jinder Ho and John Collee penning the script.

An initial edit was released earlier in the year via Vertical Entertainment encompassing the US, UAE, Portugal, Croatia, and Serbia and Montenegro.

Sky will now screen the director’s cut in Scandinavia, Poland, and the UK, as well as Australia, with the film also part of the line-up for next month’s Brisbane International Film Festival.

Banks told IF she was grateful to the producers — Asbury Park’s Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee and Mike Gabrawy, and Story Bridge Films’ Todd Fellman — for allowing her to release the updated cut.

“That was what I felt the film should be and the version that I wanted to have out,” she said.

“There was a very strict timeline on delivery so we were unable to get the cut out there in the time it had to be delivered,” she said.

“It’s a bit of a tighter version and the first act opens with the capture and it gets into the story quicker, which is good for that type of audience.”

While the ending of Black Site leaves room for another chapter in the story, fans of the film may have to wait for a sequel, with Banks in the midst of pre-production on sci-fi action film Street Rat Allie with producer Bill Mechanic.

She is also about to release her first comic book, Killswitch, a collaboration with Thunder comics, at the New York Comic Con next month.

Banks said she was working to develop a slate across television, film, and comic books within her company Banks Films — established in 2019 — that carried a focus on steering more women into the action, thriller, and sci-fi genres as filmmakers, writers, and producers.

“I’m very excited to keep creating more films in Australia and telling Australian stories,” she said.