Trio boards Australian crime film

Pearce, Otto, Neill cast for 'Nine Weeks'

SYDNEY — Guy Pearce, Miranda Otto and Sam Neill have boarded true- crime feature “How to Change in Nine Weeks,” which will mark the directorial debut of TV producer Simon North.

Pic, which began shooting June 12 in Brisbane, tells story of 15-year-old Melbourne ballet dancer Rachel Barber who was murdered by her deeply disturbed childhood friend Caroline Reid.

Pearce and Otto will portray Barber’s distraught parents, Neill and Oz thesp Rebecca Gibney have taken the roles of Reid’s parents.

Thom Mount will co-produce and Sidney Lumet has agreed to act as mentor for North on pic funded by the Film Finance Corp., Reliant Films Intl. and Queensland state funder the Pacific Film and Television Commission.

North adapted pic’s script from the novel “Perfect Victim,” by Elizabeth Southall and Megan Norris.

Newcomers Kate Bell and Ruth Murphy have been cast as Barber and Reid.

Icon Film Distribution will release “How to Change in Nine Weeks” in 2008.

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