Blanchett will star in the film, set in 1940s Australia, alongside Deborah Mailman and Wayne Blair. Written and directed by Thornton, “The New Boy” depicts the story of a 9-year-old Aboriginal orphan boy who arrives in the dead of night at a remote monastery, run by a renegade nun (Blanchett), where his presence disturbs the delicately balanced world in this story of spiritual struggle and the cost of survival.
Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Georgie Pym will produce the project for Dirty Films alongside Scarlett Pictures principal Kath Shelper.
“What a joy to finally be collaborating with Warwick — a filmmaker whose warmth, wit and humanity we have admired for so very long,” Blanchett said on behalf of Dirty Films. “We can’t wait to be on the ground with him and the wonderful Kath Shelper to realize this startling story.”
Added Thornton: “The idea for the story of this little boy has been flickering in my imagination for a long time. Kath and I are beyond excited to be working with Cate and the Dirty Films mob to put him up on the big screen where he belongs.”
Thornton has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most celebrated filmmakers. In 2017, his critically acclaimed film “Sweet Country” won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2009, Thornton’s first feature “Samson & Delilah” won the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Both films were named best film by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.
Shelper and Thornton previously partnered to produce “Samson & Delilah,” the documentary hybrid “The Darkside” and multiple award-winning short form projects.
“The New Boy” is set to begin filming this October on location in South Australia and is scheduled to wrap production at the end of 2022.
The film was developed by Scarlett Pictures, with the assistance of Screen Australia’s First Nations Department. Roadshow Films will distribute the project for Australia and New Zealand, while CAA Media Finance and UTA will handle sales for North America. The Veterans is on board to manage sales for the remainder of the globe.
Blanchett and Dirty Films are represented by CAA and Wolf Kasteler Public Relations. Thornton is repped by United Talent Agency and attorney Darren Trattner. Mailman is represented by Sue Barnett and Associates, while Blair is represented by Independent Talent Group, United Talent Agency and Shanahan Management.