Connolly and Bana were previously teamed on Australian smash hit movie “The Dry,” which like “Force of Nature” was adapted from a novel by Jane Harper. They also worked together on “Blueback,” a family-friendly, ecologically activist celebration of the natural world, adapted from a Tim Winton novella.
“Force of Nature” sees five women take part in a corporate hiking retreat, with only four coming out on the other side. Federal agents Erik Falk (Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor) and Carmen Cooper (Jacqueline McKenzie) head deep into the Victorian mountain ranges to investigate, in hopes of finding their whistle-blowing informant still alive.
Production is now underway and will take place entirely within Victoria state, primarily in the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley and the Otways.
The film is a Made Up Stories production in association with Connolly’s Arenamedia and Bana’s Pick Up Truck Pictures. It received a major production investment from Screen Australia in association with VicScreen, and was additionally financed with support from Soundfirm and Blue Post.
The producers are Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky. Bana produces for Pick Up Truck Pictures and Connolly for Arenamedia. Ricci Swart, Andrew Myer, Robert Patterson, Joel Pearlman and Edwina Waddy are executive producing.
Local distribution is handled by Roadshow. In the rest of the world, rights sales are handled by WME Independent.
Other key cast includes Deborra-Lee Furness (“Jindabyne”) as Jill Bailey, Robin McLeavy (“Homeland”) as Lauren, Sisi Stringer (“Mortal Kombat”) as Beth, Lucy Ansell (“Utopia”) as Bree, Richard Roxburgh as Daniel Bailey, Tony Briggs as Ian Chase and Kenneth Radley as Sergeant King.
“‘The Dry’ was an extraordinary success, reaching No. 1 at the Australian box office and quickly becoming an Australian classic. We’re delighted to support this immensely talented team’s return for ‘Force of Nature’ and deliver an enthralling Australian thriller. Starring some of Australia’s finest actors and set against the striking landscapes of Victoria, this film is set to be another cinematic event,” said Screen Australia’s head of content Grainne Brunsdon.
Connolly said: “I’m so excited to return to the world of Detective Aaron Falk. Jane Harper’s ‘Force of Nature’ is a deeply emotional and thrilling story showcasing the extraordinary world and landscape of the Australian wilderness.”
Bana said: “Whilst it was always our dream to bring this story to the big screen, its fate always rested with the Australian cinema-going public. Their overwhelming support of ‘The Dry’ turns this into a reality.”