Jessica McNamee, Luke Mitchell dive into ‘Black Water: Abyss’

(L-R) Amali Golden, Luke Mitchell, Jessica McNamee, Benjamin Hoetjes and Anthony Sharpe.

Jessica McNamee and Luke Mitchell are playing an adventure-loving couple who get trapped in a flooded cave and are attacked by killer crocodiles in Andrew Traucki’s survival thriller Black Water: Abyss.

Scripted by Sarah Smith and Ian John Ridley, the sequel to Traucki and David Nerlich’s 2007 horror/thriller Black Water started shooting in South East Queensland today, supported by Screen Queensland.

The US-based McNamee (The Meg, Battle of the Sexes, Packed to the Rafters) is Jennifer with Luke Mitchell (The Code, Blindspot, Home and Away) as Luke.

With close friends Yolanda (Amali Golden) and Viktor (Benjamin Hoetjes) they abseil into newly discovered caves with tour guide Cash (Anthony Sharpe), believing they will be safe from the approaching tropical storm.

As the cave begins to flood and oxygen levels fall, the group find themselves lost, disoriented and trapped and are easy prey for a pack of crocodiles.

Staring into the jaws of death, long-kept secrets emerge and force the friends to turn upon one another in a fight for survival.

The producers are Michael Robertson and Neal Kingston through their newly formed joint venture Thrills & Spills, Traucki and Silver Wings Films’ Pam Collis.

Kingston tells IF the idea for the film arose when he talked with Robertson about capitalising on the producer’s IP. Robertson liked the idea but said he needed a script so Kingston enlisted the services of his business partner Sarah Smith (Bite Club, Winter) and Ridley (Bite Club, Wentworth, Wanted).

International sales agent Altitude Film Sales started pre-sales at the European Film Market in 2018, sealing deals with more than 30 territories.

UK-based Piccadilly Pictures came on board for gap financing and cash-flowing the Producer Offset and pre-sales. Robert Slaviero and Richard Becker’s R&R Films will distribute in Australia. The DOP is Damien Beebe.

Unlike most films of that genre, Black Water: Abyss will not rely on CGI to bring its predators to life but instead use real crocodiles, melded with special effects.

“Andrew’s work integrating real crocodiles and sharks into Black Water and The Reef really set those films apart from their contemporaries,” Kingston said.

Traucki added: “Dark, tight caves are scary enough but when there is a huge crocodile down in them as well it takes it to a whole new level.”