Ben Whishaw and Jennifer Connelly.

Top Gun: Maverick star Jennifer Connelly and British actor Ben Whishaw will lead the cast of the upcoming New Zealand film Bad Behaviour, appearing alongside writer/director Alice Englert.

Englert, whose acting credits include You Won’t Be Alone, The Power of the Dog and The Serpent, will make her feature directorial debut with the dark comedy, which follows Lucy (Connelly), a former child actress who seeks enlightenment at a retreat led by spiritual leader Elon (Whishaw) also navigating the close, yet turbulent relationship with her stunt performer daughter, Dylan (Englert).

The cast also includes New Zealand actress Ana Scotney (Millie Lies Low), Dasha Nekrasova (Succession), Karan Gill (I May Destroy You), and Marlon Williams (Sweet Tooth). Bad Behaviour is being produced by Desray Armstrong and Molly Hallam, and executive produced by Stephen Braun of Bee-Hive Productions.

Alice Englert.

Connelly can be seen opposite Tom Cruise in the record-breaking Top Gun sequel, while Whishaw has the lead role in Adam Kay’s TV series adaptation of This is Going to Hurt and also reprised his role as “Q” in James Bond blockbuster No Time to Die.

Englert, the daughter of Jane Campion, previously directed Whishaw in the 2017 short film Family Matters, which she also wrote and starred in. Her other short, The Boyfriend Game, starring Thomasin McKenzie, took out the Best Achievement in Screenplay award at the 2017 St Kilda Film Festival.

Production on the upcoming project will take place in New Zealand and will be financed with funds from the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand Screen Production Grant, Fulcrum Media Finance, and Bee-Hive Productions with additional support from AHI Films and Images & Sound.

AA and Verve Ventures will co-represent the sale of North America with Protagonist handling the rest of the world sales. AHI Films will distribute theatrically in Australia and New Zealand.

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