By Sam Dallas

Willem Dafoe's latest movie The Hunter has started filming in beautiful Tasmania.

Porchlight Films' psychological thriller, based on the Julia Leigh novel of the same name, started filming this week and is directed by Daniel Nettheim, produced by Vincent Sheehan and will star Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) and Frances O'Connor (Blessed) alongside Dafoe (Spider-Man, Daybreakers).

Other cast members include Morgana Davies (The Tree), Dan Wyllie (Animal Kingdom) and John Brumpton (Red Hill).

It will be shot by cinematographer Bob Humphries.

The film tells the story of Martin – a mercenary sent from Europe by an anonymous biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a dramatic hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger.

"It has been a long journey and we are thrilled to finally be here in Tassie, filming in a magnificent location and working with such a talented brew of Tasmanian and mainland crew," Sheehan said in a statement.

The Hunter is being co-financed by Screen Tasmania, Screen Australia, Screen NSW  with Madman and E1 Entertainment as distributors.

The Screen Tasmania investment of $285,000 is expected to trigger more than $900,000 for cast, crew, services and facilities during the production, according to the state's Acting Minister for Economic Development Michelle O’Byrne earlier this year.

Filming is expected to be completed by mid-December.

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