Josh Lawson, Anna Paquin and Cliff Curtis join Sarah Spillane’s ‘True Spirit’

Anna Paquin (credit: Kevin Scanlon), Cliff Curtis (credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC) and Josh Lawson (credit: Oly Begg).

Josh Lawson, Anna Paquin, and Cliff Curtis have been added to the cast of Sarah Spillane’s True Spirit, which is set to begin filming for Netflix later this year.

They will join Teagan Croft in the adaptation of Jessica Watson’s memoir, with the story to detail the then 16-year-old’s 2010 journey to become the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop, and unassisted around the world.

Paquin and Lawson will play Watson’s parents, Julie and Roger Watson, while Curtis is set to portray her coach Ben Bryant.

Lawson most recently starred in New Line Cinema’s Mortal Kombat, while New Zealand actors Curtis and Paquin have also garnered international attention throughout their careers, most recently through roles in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and The Irishman, respectively.

For True Spirit, the trio is set to film on location in Queensland and Sydney, with the former to house the majority of production.

Written by Spillane, with revisions by Rebecca Banner, the film will be produced by Susan Cartsonis (What Women Want) for Resonate Entertainment; Debra Martin Chase (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) for Martin Chase Productions; and Andrew Fraser for Sunstar Entertainment.

Spillane, who has been attached to direct the project since 2015, is also set to executive produce alongside Shahen Mekertichian for Sunstar Entertainment; Brent Emery and Suzanne Farwell for Resonate Entertainment; and Georgina Marquis. Clément Bauer will co-produce for Resonate Entertainment. 

Heads of department for the project include DP Danny Ruhlmann, production designer Michelle McGahey, costume designer Justine Seymour, hair and make-up artist Rick Findlater, art director Bill Booth, VFX producer Arthur Windus, and music supervisor Linda Cohen.

True Spirit is backed by the Queensland Government via Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy. Watson is set to consult on the biopic.