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Donald Sutherland Joins Coming-of-Age Zombie Thriller ‘Heart Land,’ From Center Mass Studios – AFM (EXCLUSIVE)

Heart Land Donald Sutherland
Center Mass Studios

Donald Sutherland has boarded the coming-of-age genre thriller “Heart Land,” a rare U.K. and New Zealand treaty co-production.

Directed by David Carson (“Star Trek: Generations,” “Unstoppable”), the film is currently being filmed in New Zealand and Quebec, Canada, with post-production set to take place in the U.K.

Penned by Matthew A. Collins (“All That Glitters”), “Heart Land” is billed as “28 Days Later” meets “Lord of the Flies.” The story is centered around two disparate bands of children struggling to survive in the brutal landscape of a pestilent America, where adults have become infected by a mysterious plague and only children are immune. Left to their own devices, the youthful survivors must rely on primal instinct and dwindling resources to fend off the raging infected.

The pic is centered around a character named Jonah, who is the grandson of Rick (Sutherland).

“Rick is the emotional heart and anchor of ‘Heart Land,’” says Carson. “And I cannot imagine anyone else but Donald Sutherland playing him. I have admired and been moved by Donald’s wonderful performances for a long time and I know he will bring depth and gravitas to the role and to the movie. I’m very excited to be working with Donald in a role that demands such an exceptionally detailed, imaginative and visceral performance.”

Sutherland most recently starred in the Netflix thriller “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” an adaptation of the Stephen King novella, and Roland Emmerich’s indie sci-fi offering “Moonfall.”

Trademark Films’ Oscar-winning producer David Parfitt (“The Father”), in collaboration with Carson’s Center Mass Studios, will act as U.K. producers with New Zealand producer Michelle Turner and Morepork Movies.

Additional producers include Byron A. Martin and Todd Berger. Oscar-winner Richard Taylor will be the creature designer through his banner Weta Workshop.

“Heart Land” was an official selection of the 2021 Frontières Genre Co-Production Market Forum as well as one of the featured projects at the 2021 TIFF International Financing Forum.