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Film News Roundup: Brenton Thwaites, Ben Robson to Star in Thriller ‘A Violent Separation’

In today’s film news roundup, Brenton Thwaites and Ben Robson are starring in “A Violent Separation,” Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut begins production in Malawi, and Max Landis’ horror project “Decon” gets financing. 

AFM PROJECT

Brenton Thwaites and Ben Robson have been cast as the leads in the crime thriller “A Violent Separation” along with Alycia Debnam-Carey and Claire Holt.

The film is currently in production in Louisiana with the directing team of Kevin and Michael Goetz helming from a Michael Arkof script. Double Dutch International will present “A Violent Separation” to buyers at the American Film Market, which opens Nov. 1 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Francesca Eastwood, Gerald McRaney, and Ted Levine are also starring in “Separation,” set in a quiet Midwestern town. Thwaites plays a young deputy sheriff who covers up a murder at the hands of his older brother, portrayed by Robson, with neither prepared for what’s to come — including the passionate romance that blossoms between Thwaites’ character and the victim’s younger sister, played by Debnam-Carey.

Producers are Dan Clifton of Cliffbrook Films and Christopher Watkins of Catapult Entertainment Group. Executive producers are Jason Moring, Stanley Preschutti, and Mark Padilla of DDI along with William Santor and Andrew Chang-Sang of Productivity Media.

“‘A Violent Separation’ is an intriguing film that expertly navigates suspense and keeps you captivated,” Moring said. “Combined with the talented filmmakers and ensemble cast we are excited to present this to our buyers at AFM.”

Thwaites was recently announced as Robin/Nightwing in the upcoming DC Studios show “Titans.” He starred in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

Robson currently stars in the TNT series “Animal Kingdom” and starred in “Vikings” for History Channel. Debnam-Carey is best known for her starring role in “Fear the Walking Dead.”

Thwaites is represented by UTA, Dan Spilo at Industry Entertainment, and United Management in Australia. Robson is repped by UTA, Management 360, and Hamilton Hodell in the U.K. Debnam-Carey is also repped by UTA and Management 360 in addition to Lisa Mann Creative Management in Australia.

DIRECTORIAL DEBUT

Participant Media, BBC Films, and BFI have launched production in Malawi on Chiwetel Ejiofor’s untitled directorial debut, based on the book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.”

Ejiofor is also starring and adapted the script from the book, written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. Potboiler Productions’ Andrea Calderwood and Gail Egan are producing the film. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King will executive produce with BBC Films’ Joe Oppenheimer, the BFI’s Natascha Wharton, and authors Kamkwamba and Mealer.

The film follows 13-year-old Kamkwamba (played by newcomer Maxwell Simba) who is thrown out of the school he loves when his family can no longer afford the fees. Sneaking back into the school library, he finds a way, using the bones of the bicycle belonging to his father Trywell (Ejiofor), to build a windmill which then saves his village from famine.

“William’s story represents what has to be the future in countries like Malawi: developing countries, overflowing with beauty, and with potential which simply needs access to opportunity in order to be fully unleashed,” Ejiofor said. “William’s determination and inventiveness created something that not only meant the end of the ‘hungry season’ for his community, it also catapulted him into a future where all his potential could be realized.”

Participant Media, BBC Films, and BFI, with funds from the National Lottery, are lead financiers on the project, along with Head Gear, Econet, and LipSync. Participant will be handling the sale of North American distribution rights, while Cornerstone Films will oversee international sales and distribution in all other territories. Econet will handle Sub-Saharan African distribution.

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

QC Entertainment and Good Universe will produce and finance horror project “Decon” with production to start in early 2018.

“Decon” is written by Max Landis, the creator, co-showrunner, and exec producer of BBC America’s “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.” The story centers on a medical prodigy being pushed to the brink over the course of one night after joining an elite team of doctors treating the most gruesome and dangerous illnesses.

Landis is also producing along with QC’s Sean McKittrick and Ray Mansfield, and Good Universe’s Nathan Kahane. QC’s Edward H. Hamm Jr. will serve as executive producer. Brady Fujikawa will oversee for Good Universe.

Landis also wrote the script for the Netflix feature “Bright.” He is repped by CAA and Writ Large’s Britton Rizzio. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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