By Joel Martelli

Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe is set to star in psychological thriller The Hunter, which will be  shot in Tasmania later this year.

Dafoe, who has previously starred in blockbusters such as The English Patient and Spider-Man, also filmed vampire horror film Daybreakers in Australia in 2007.

The Hunter, based on a novel by Julia Leigh, is about a mercenary sent by an anonymous biotech company to search for the last Tasmanian tiger.

The film is being produced by Vincent Sheehan (Animal Kingdom, Little Fish), directed by Daniel Nettheim (All Saints, The Secret Life of Us), and will be shot by cinematographer Andrew Lesnie (Lord of the Rings trilogy).

Screen Tasmania is investing $285,000 in the production, with co-financing from Screen Australia and Screen New South Wales.

“Screen Tasmania has shown great faith in The Hunter and their support was instrumental in moving from the development phase into production,” Sheehan said in a statement.

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

The state agency released the first stage of an independent review last week which suggested it streamline its processes, improve transparency and engage with the local industry if it is to realise its long term vision.

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