Jeremy Piven, Tricia Helfer, Ryan Kwanten head to the Gold Coast for Luke Sparke’s ‘Primitive War’

Jeremy Piven, Tricia Helfer, and Ryan Kwanten.

Luke Sparke is back on the Gold Coast, this time to shoot a pre-historic sci-fi thriller starring Jeremy Piven, Tricia Helfer, Ryan Kwanten, and Nick Wechsler.

Production begins next week on Primitive War, an adaption of Ethan Pettus’s 2017 novel that follows a squad of soldiers in 1968 who discover that dinosaurs have been let loose in the jungles of the Vietnam War.

The recon unit known as Vulture Squad is sent to an isolated jungle valley to uncover the fate of a missing Green Beret platoon, only to discover they are not alone.

Piven and Helfer were previously announced as part of the cast for Sparke’s Occupation: Rainfall Chapter 2 in 2022, with the former also unveiled as the star of supernatural gladiator thriller Fight For Your Life, which Sparke Films launched for international sales at last year’s Cannes Marché du Film. As yet, there are no further updates on these projects.

The pair are joined in the cast for Primitive War by Anthony Ingruber, Aaron Glenane, Carlos Sanson Jr, Ana Thu Nguyen, Adolphus Waylee, Richard Brancatisano, Marcus Johnson, and Jake Ryan.

Carmel Imrie and Carly Sparke are producing the independently financed feature alongside co-producer Alex Becconsall, with Sparke executive producing with Geoff Imrie. The creative team also includes cinematographer Wade Muller. The film will be shot over five weeks, and according to Sparke Films, will employ a predominantly local cast and crew, representing more than 200 jobs.

Speaking ahead of the five-week shoot, the writer/director said he was captivated by the imagery surrounding Pettus’ book and the story it told.

“I’ve worked hard on capturing that essence but also the grittiness, horror aspects and military edge,” he said.

“My vision is to feel like the characters have walked out of the film Platoon and into the jaws of the greatest predators the planet has ever known.”

Pettus said he knew Sparke and his team were giving the project “everything they’ve got” and was “thrilled” at the prospect of seeing his work on screen.

It comes after Sparke Films shot horror Scurry in the Gold Coast last year, with the film currently in post-production.